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Ohio prisoner charged with rape overpowers deputy, steals his gun

PAULDING, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a manhunt is underway for an Ohio rape suspect who overpowered a sheriff's deputy in a transport van and stole his gun and ammunition.

Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers says FBI agents and U.S. Marshals have joined the search for 32-year-old Branden Powell. Powell overpowered the deputy around noon Friday on an 80-mile trip from a Toledo psychiatric hospital to Paulding County Jail.

Landers says Powell was in leg shackles and handcuffs secured to a "belly belt" when he jumped over the seat and put the deputy in a headlock, causing the van to crash. Powell grabbed the deputy's gun during a struggle and ordered him to remove the restraints.

Powell was jailed last month on rape, attempted rape and sexual battery charges.