Houston escaped inmate captured: Man found after manhunt; 2 others arrested

An inmate who escaped custody in Downtown Houston on Thursday afternoon has been captured after a manhunt that lasted about 12 hours, officials say.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Joshua Nigel Thomas Sanders was apprehended by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force in the Cloverleaf area of east Harris County around 3 a.m. Friday.

The sheriff's office says two family members – Kathryn Gomez Sanders and Zana Tyler – were also arrested for hindering apprehension.

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Kathryn Gomez Sanders (Photo: HCSO)

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The manhunt was launched around 3 p.m. Thursday when the sheriff’s office learned that an inmate had escaped while being transported back to the Harris County Jail following a court appearance, officials say.

According to the sheriff's office, Sanders was in custody for three burglaries and the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Authorities say, during his escape, Sanders accosted an employee with the Harris County District Attorney's Office and jumped into her car, but she wrecked it just a few feet away.

"Earlier today, one of our employees was held against her will by a man with a knife who apparently escaped from official custody," the district attorney's office said in a statement Thursday. "We are thankful and grateful that she was not physically harmed during this incident. The general public should be on heightened alert that this man has yet to be apprehended, but we are confident that law enforcement will be able to find and apprehend the suspect. Once he is arrested, we expect to prosecute this defendant and seek justice in this case."

After the crash, Sanders reportedly got out of the car and ran in the direction of the bayou. It was the last place he was seen via surveillance footage by authorities.

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The University of Houston Downtown issued a lockdown due to the search but gave the all-clear about two hours later.

Several agencies from Harris County and Houston worked together to search Downtown Houston and follow leads that took them to other parts of the county.


The sheriff’s office says that investigation led authorities to a location in the 14000 block of Force Street around 3 a.m.

That’s where the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force, which is comprised of multiple agencies, located Sanders, officials say.

According to the sheriff’s office, Sanders resisted when they tried to take him into custody, so a taser was deployed. Sanders was taken to the hospital and will be transported back to the Harris County Jail once he is medically cleared.

The two other suspects who allegedly hindered his apprehension were also taken into custody.

The sheriff’s office says Sanders is now facing charges of aggravated robbery and escape for the incident on Thursday.