LA GRANGE, KY (WAVE) – In the thick of the night, police and canines scoured La Grange Wednesday night, and into the daylight Thursday, looking for Christopher Claxton.
It's an escape that still has people scratching their heads.
"You know he ran off wearing nothing but underwear! It was a little cold last night," La Grange resident Mike Korzeniowski laughed. He lives just a few miles from where the escape happened.
In a rare 2007 jailhouse interview, Claxton claims innocence from the charges of theft and burglary that put him behind bars in the first place.
"I've got evidence of me being in hospitals, cameras from the hospitals and going to the doctor's office," Claxton said.
Ironically, it's his trip to the hospital Wednesday night that started the ordeal.
Once he overpowered a corrections officer, he took her weapon and took off.
The area immediately surrounding the Baptist Hospital Northeast is made up of wooded and residential neighborhoods. That made the search even more complex and put neighbors on edge.
"The telephone call woke us up, and then made us feel uneasy. We were scared," said resident Sharon Stedromsky.
Neighbors say the emergency alert phone call let them know about the situation.
"We went and checked all our doors again and tried to sleep, but, not much sleep," Stedromsky said.
"We locked the house down. Turned off all the lights inside and turned on all the lights outside," Korzeniowski said.
Despite this statement in that 2007 interview, his escape didn't sit well with neighbors.
"I ain't never... I'm not a violent person. I've never done no robberies or nothing like that," Claxton said.
"The kids getting on the bus this morning was just like we better take a few extra precautions," Korzeniowski said.
Schools even went on lock down Thursday morning.
A short time later, around 8:30 Thursday morning, Claxton was caught, giving the community a sigh of relief.
"I'm glad it's over," Stedromsky said.
"It's pretty safe and quiet so this is an unusual event," Korzeniowski said.
Claxton is now facing several charges, and is back at the Kentucky State Reformatory. KSR officials are investigating the incident to see what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. They wouldn't agree to an on-camera interview.