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Michael Townsend

A Lawrenceburg inmate who escaped after treatment at Frankfort Regional Medical Center could face charges of assaulting an officer in connection with his means of escape, authorities said.

Michael W. Townsend, 32, is in custody at the Shelby County Detention Center on numerous felonies and misdemeanors. His list of charges grew longer on Aug. 1 after he was treated at FRMC for injuries allegedly sustained in a previous attempt to flee arrest in Lawrenceburg.

Lawrenceburg Police Chief Bryan Taylor said Townsend was ultimately spotted at a dollar store in Shelby County where he was trying get a change of clothes. A store clerk noticed, though, that he was already wearing an accessory specific to inmates.

“He still had handcuffs on,” Taylor said. “That was a big red flag to those folks up there.”

Shelby County law enforcement arrived to take Townsend into custody. However, he allegedly resisted and officers deployed electronic stunning devices — or Tasers — to bring him into custody.

Taylor said Townsend was treated at FRMC after being tased in Lawrenceburg the previous night for allegedly resisting arrest. Townsend was cleared by the hospital for release that morning. As LPD escorted him to the patrol car in the parking lot, Townsend pushed an officer to the ground and fled, Taylor said.

“One thing led to another, and (Townsend) pushed an officer and ran into a wooded area,” Taylor said. “They were concentrating their search efforts on the wooded area. Unbeknownst to them, (Townsend) doubled back, and that’s when he stole the car.”

Townsend allegedly took a white Kia from the hospital's parking lot and fled Franklin County. In Frankfort Police Department reports, officers noted that "the suspect got away from officers while handcuffed in the front, and the officers lost contact with the suspect."

Townsend had allegedly tried to break into a different car before taking the Kia, FPD reported. He was arrested about two hours after officers descended on the dollar store in Shelby County.

Asked why Townsend would try to flee, Taylor cited his criminal record.

“He was on parole at the time,” Taylor said. “He has some serious stuff on the shelf.”

Townsend faces charges of second-degree burglary and receiving stolen property more than $10,000, both Class C felonies; theft by unlawful taking through shoplifting of more than $500 but less than $10,000, first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree escape, all Class D felonies; two counts of second-degree fleeing arrest on foot and one count of resisting arrest, both Class A misdemeanors; and second-degree criminal trespassing, second-degree disorderly conduct, public intoxication by a controlled substance, menacing and third-degree criminal mischief, all Class B misdemeanors.

Townsend had previously been paroled for robbery, burglary and receiving stolen property. He has yet to be indicted on the recent charges and could face a charge of assaulting an officer, which could amount to a Class A, B or C felony.

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