Officer late to work spots escaped inmate

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Sometimes tardy is timely.

Wash. Corrections Officer Brandy Boyer says if she hadn't been 10 minutes late leaving for work Saturday morning she wouldn't have spotted a prison escapee.

Boyer told The Columbian she was driving to Larch Corrections Center in southwest Washington for her shift when she spotted a man wearing a prison-issued outfit of gray sweatpants, a white T-shirt over a white thermal shirt and a khaki stocking cap.

She called her sergeant, who told her they came up one inmate short during a head count. Boyer kept an eye on the man and called 911.

The inmate by that time had jumped a fence and hidden in blackberry bushes. That lasted until a Vancouver police dog showed up and bit the man. Boyer, the Vancouver officer and a Clark County deputy arrested him.

The inmate was identified as 28-year-old David Daniel McElroy, who was serving time for burglary and stolen property possession.