Escaped prisoner caught, found hiding next to a Dollar Tree

The 34-year-old escaped in Wadena, prompting a day-long manhunt.
Ryan Petro

Authorities have successfully apprehended the inmate who escaped custody on his way to a court hearing in Wadena.

The Wadena County Sheriff's Office says that Ryan Petro, 34, was caught in Wadena on Tuesday afternoon.

He'd escaped on Monday, taking advantage of momentarily not being in a secure area as he was in the city courthouse for a hearing, with the deputy watching him also looking after another inmate at the time.

The sheriff's office says kicked off his jail issued shoes and ran out of the building despite being handcuffed near the waist with a transport belt.

A public appeal was issued a short time after, with local schools informed, and police were inundated with tips from the public over the next 24 hours.

A tipster reported seeing Petro in the area of 1st Street NW and Hemlock Avenue around 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, and he fled when police arrived.

A perimeter was set up and K-9 officers deployed to search the area.

At 4:53 p.m., he was found hiding between the Dollar Tree and the building that formerly housed Super One Foods at Ironwood Street and 1st Street NW.

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He tried to flee again, but this time a deputy used a Taser after he ignored commands to stop.

He is now awaiting charges for felony escape from custody.

He had been in custody for a month, having been arrested for charges including misdemeanor obstruction, disorderly conduct, damage to property, and a felony charge of breaking the conditions of his release for 1st-degree burglary.

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