Wadena County's escaped inmate, Ryan P. Petro, was found just before 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29, hiding near the old Super One Foods store and Dollar Tree in northwest Wadena.
When approached by a Wadena County Sheriff's deputy, Petro ignored commands to stop and fled from deputies on foot again. A deputy deployed his Taser after Petro repeatedly ignored commands to stop. Several more squads arrived in the area and Petro was taken into custody without further incident, according to a news release.
Tri-County Ambulance was paged to the scene to evaluate Petro before he was transported to the Wadena County Jail. The Wadena County Attorney’s Office obtained a complaint warrant for Petro, charging him with felony escape from custody.
The escape unfolded when Petro was being escorted back from a court appearance Monday afternoon. He fled from the court security deputy while the deputy had another inmate with. The inmates were not in the secure area of the jail when the escape happened, as there is no route to court that allows for inmates to stay in a secure area, the news release stated.
Petro kicked off his jail issued shoes and ran out of the courthouse; he was handcuffed near his waist with a transport belt. A search of the immediate area was conducted and tips from the public were immediately followed up with. A CodeRED message, along with an IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert Warning System) alert were sent within the first hour of Petro’s escape. All schools in Wadena were notified within the first 10 minutes of the escape. Over the next 24 hours, multiple tips from the public were followed up on and documented.
At approximately 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, a citizen reported seeing Petro in the area of 1st St NW and Hemlock Ave. Petro fled the area prior to law enforcement arriving, but was seen again a short time later in the same area. A perimeter was set with multiple squad cars to allow the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office K9 to search the area. At approximately 4:53 p.m., a deputy located Petro hiding between the building formerly occupied by Super One Foods and the Dollar Tree.
In the release, Sheriff Mike Carr expressed gratitude to everyone involved in the search for Petro. This includes the many tips from citizens, along with the Wadena, Verndale, Sebeka, and Perham Police Departments, Todd and Ottertail County Sheriff’s Offices, Perham Fire Department (drone), Minnesota State Patrol, and the West Central MN Drug and Violent Offender Task Force.