Police: Armed, escaped inmate caught after 5-hour search


A Burnet County Jail inmate led local law enforcement agencies on an almost five-hour manhunt Saturday morning when he stole an officer’s gun and escaped from custody after being treated at a Cedar Park hospital, authorities said.

The inmate, 40-year-old Murl Lamb, was at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center undergoing treatment for minor injuries to his wrist, said Mike Harmon, assistant chief for the Cedar Park Police Department.

After being treated, Lamb assaulted the Burnet County corrections officer who had taken him to the hospital and stole his .40-caliber gun before escaping toward the 1890 Ranch Shopping Center across the street about 6:30 a.m., Harmon said.

About 7 a.m., Lamb used the stolen gun to shoot off the shackles around his ankles, Harmon said. Lamb was not handcuffed during his hospital visit.

Four hours later, police found Lamb, barefoot and dressed in his black-and-white prison jumpsuit, behind the Cinemark movie theater across the street from the hospital. He was arrested without incident and the stolen gun was recovered, Harmon said.

A stylist at a nearby children’s hair salon said she received a 1 p.m. phone call from police saying that the armed man had broken into her Jeep. After ripping out wires under the steering wheel in an attempt to start the car, he stole a 3-foot plastic storage bin in the back, stylist Allison Massey said.

Police told Massey that the man was found hiding in a nearby Dumpster with the storage bin on top of him, she said.

“We were imagining him scurrying around underneath it,” Massey said, laughing with her fellow cosmetologists at Pigtails and Crewcuts. “Thank goodness I didn’t go out to my car, though, ’cause that would have been super-scary.”

The shopping center was filled with police cars for most of the morning. About 9:15 a.m., area businesses received a phone call with an automated message from police describing Lamb and asking anyone who saw him to call 911.

The message was also sent throughout the city, and employees of Amy’s China Bistro near the theater said they had half as many customers as usual for a Saturday afternoon — though not everyone was deterred.

“The first table said they heard it on the radio and were worried, but they were hungry and came anyway,” hostess Shulamit Martinez said.

At the Which Wich restaurant next door, employees kept locking the front door behind customers “just to be on the safe side,” employee Sera Luedke said.

Police said that the corrections officer assaulted by Lamb sustained minor injuries but that no one else was hurt during the escape. Lamb was booked into the Burnet County Jail in August on aggravated robbery and burglary charges and for a parole violation.

Further charges are pending and could include escape from custody and assault on a corrections officer, police said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Traffic report for Monday, Sept. 24, 2018

Interstate 35 (Hays County): Slow moving striping work crews in both directions between RM 150 and Robert S. Light Boulevard from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights Interstate 35 (Travis County): Alternating closures on the frontage roads in both directions between Slaughter Lane and Williamson Creek from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through...
Community news: Austin Energy hosts small business open house Tuesday

TRAVIS COUNTY SOUTH AUSTIN Small business open house Tuesday Austin Energy will host an open house for small business owners from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Austin Energy’s Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Road. The free open house will allow business owners to exchange information, meet with staff and learn how to effectively partner with...
Cruz gets O’Rourke where he wants him — on a debate stage
Cruz gets O’Rourke where he wants him — on a debate stage

For the first time in his re-election campaign, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, right where he wanted him Friday night — on a debate stage confined behind a lectern and constricted by 90-second answers, 60-second responses and 30-second rebuttals. It forced O’Rourke to confront Cruz...
Heavy rains lead to flooding, rescues in Williamson, Travis counties
Heavy rains lead to flooding, rescues in Williamson, Travis counties

Authorities rescued dozens of people in Williamson and Travis counties early Saturday after thunderstorms hammered Central Texas, dropping nearly 10 inches of rain in some spots and causing flash floods, road closures and power outages. Approximately 90 people were forced to evacuate the Rio de Colores wedding venue in Liberty Hill as waters rose to...
TEXAS DIGEST: Funeral held for 4th victim of serial killings

LAREDO Funeral held for serial killings victim About 150 people gathered at a Texas church for the funeral of one of the four women who authorities say were killed by a Border Patrol agent they’ve described as a serial killer. Saturday’s funeral for 35-year-old Guiselda Alicia Cantu at a Catholic church in Laredo is the last of the memorial...
More Stories