SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Florida — The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office says that three time Upper Peninsula fugitive John Saatio has been located and captured.
Deputies say a citizen called their dispatch center shortly before 7:00 p.m. Sunday night to let them know about a suspicious person walking in a wooded area. Based on the description provided, that person was believed to be Saatio.
Deputies arrived at the scene a short time later and deployed a K-9 unit. They began tracking Saatio along the southeast side of Antietam Road in Milton, Florida, going through a large field and several small creeks in the process. Saatio was apprehended about four hours later without incident.
He was searched by deputies, who say two makeshift handcuff keys were located in his socks. Saatio was transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail, where he remains under close watch.
Saatio will be charged with escape and possession of a handcuff key. Additional charges are pending.
K-9 units from the Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Century Correctional Institutes as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in the capture of Saatio.
John Saatio escaped custody from the private transportation company in Florida Saturday evening. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office received a call Saturday at 10:30 p.m. in reference to a missing inmate.
The escape occured at a rest area on Interstate 10 in Santa Rosa County.
Several law enforcement agencies were looking for Saatio, who escaped from authorities for a third time. He’s wanted out of Houghton County, Michigan on several charges.
Employees with the transportation company told deputies that they stopped at a rest stopfor a bathroom break. When they took a head count, one person was missing. Employees said they found shackles and handcuffs near the restroom around 10:30 p.m. It is unclear when he got away, or how he uncuffed himself.
The private transportation company that was responsible for transferring Saatio is called Inmate Services Corporation, based out of West Memphis, AR. The company has a history of inmates escaping their custody.
This is a look at the location where Saatio made his getaway around 11 p.m. Saturday night after the transport van stopped, courtesy of our affilaite WEAR-TV ABC 3. The rest stop is on Eastbound I-10 near the Highway 87 exit in Florida. Tune in to ABC10 & CW5 UP tomorrow for the latest. abc10up.com/saatio-on-the-run-again
Posted by ABC10 & CW5 UP on Sunday, July 3, 2016
Back in December of 2015, a Minneapolis inmate escaped while traveling to St. Paul, MN. In September of 2015, a maximum-security inmate from San Diego escaped while he was being transferred from a court proceeding in Tennessee. And in August of 2013, an inmate wanted in Sweetwater County, WY for felony larceny back in 2010 was captured in Northern Mexico and on his way back, he escaped and to this day, he is still at large.
Sources also tell ABC 10 that the company was not licensed to transfer inmates in the state of Florida. We have confirmed this information on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Human Services website.
He escaped from police in Houghton back in June of 2015, and was captured last month by authorities in Costa Rica, before escaping again from a detention center. He was captured by authorities in less than 48 hours, and transfered to Texas.
Saatio was extradited in June of 2016 to the Harris County Jail in Texas and was in the process of being brought back to Houghton. Private contracted inmate transportation companies zig zag from state to state transporting prisoners.
He is scheduled to eventually face numerous felony charges in the Upper Peninsula.