An accused child predator is back behind bars after escaping from jail in Galveston County. Now the little girl and her mother who got the suspect arrested in the first place spoke exclusively to Fox 26's Chris Stipes.
Thomas Watson, 44, was arrested on an indecency with a child charge out of Montgomery County Tuesday afternoon. By early Wednesday morning, he escaped from the La Marque jail during a prisoner transfer sparking a multi-agency manhunt to track him down.
"He's a coward, he's a coward normally," said Dawnyale East. When she heard that her former friend had escaped from jail, the only direction she was headed was out of town. "Angry, hurt, mad, scared. He has nothing to lose. They (the police) said he's gone and I started crying, and picked up my daughter and left," said East.
It was East who turned Watson in to police leading to his indecency with a child charge. Watson, who is already on parole for auto theft, is accused of exposing himself to East’s 9-year-old daughter.
"He was like one of my friends and he literally kept on doing it. ‘He did bad stuff?' Uh huh," said the 9-year-old alleged victim.
After 13 hours on the run, Watson was re-arrested Wednesday afternoon at a La Marque Walgreens less than a mile away from the police department.
“We got a possible area, ran surveillance on it, fortunately it was the right location," said Detective Sargent Shawn Spruill with the La Marque Police Department.
Unfortunately, he escaped in the first place.
“It's definitely a mistake that we don't want to happen," said Sgt. Spruill. La Marque PD admits responsibility for a "failed security measure" during the prisoner transfer that enabled Watson to flee from the La Marque jail booking area. “There was an error or lack of security in that transfer, I can't go into any more specific details about that," he said.
But now that he's back behind bars, and that’s where this mother and daughter hopes he stays.
“He should be in jail for like the rest of his life,” said the 9-year-old alleged victim. "I don't want any other mother to go through one bit of pain inflicted by him like I had to or one other child to hurt the way mine did and I feel like she deserves justice," said East.
An internal affairs investigation is underway at La Marque PD to find out what went wrong during the escape. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Watson will be held on no bond for violating his parole.