[Editor’s note: Jason Lyle Conrad was apprehended by federal authorities on Wednesday, May 31. Get the latest updates here.]
AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — The Shaw Jewish Community Center closed early on Tuesday, sending children home from school and from daycare, and closing its recreation facilities and outdoor pool to members, as authorities conducted a search near its property for an escaped inmate.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jayson Lyle Conrad was being transported to a Summa Health White Pond Medical Center along Park West Boulevard for a medical appointment when he overpowered a deputy and escaped on foot into a heavily wooded area, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said.
Conrad had been handcuffed, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and wearing a walking boot from a previous injury.
“He is out of his orange jumpsuit, he’s wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts, he’s walking with a limp and heavily tattooed on his neck,” said Pete Elliott, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio. “It’s just a matter of time before we get him.”
The sheriff’s office said he was being transferred from a transport vehicle when he escaped.
The area is on the western edge of Akron where Akron, Copley and Fairlawn meet.
Deputies were quickly joined by police officers from multiple departments, along with Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers both on the ground and in the air, and federal marshals with K9s from as far away as Canton.
An automated alert was sent out by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in a several-mile radius of the escape, which resulted in at least one daycare facility near the Summit Mall to go on a hard lockdown.
No one with the Summit County Sheriffs Office was available on Tuesday to talk about the escape or the search for Conrad, who was being held on charges that include willful fleeing, possession of drugs, trafficking in drugs and a parole violation.
None of the charges would typically be considered “violent crimes,” but a spokesperson for the Jewish Community Center said she was told he should be considered dangerous, which factored into the decision to close their facility early.
“We took all precautions and decided to close the facility, make sure the kiddos all got home safe to their parents. We escorted each of them out to their parents, and the building is empty and we are closed,” said Stephanie York.
The search continued into Tuesday evening.
“Look, this is a violent individual with a history of drugs, gun violations and parole violations. We want to get him off the streets as soon as possible,” Elliott said.
Conrad is described as a white man standing 5-foot-9 and weighing about 150 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
A reward of $1,000 is being offered in the case.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call the sheriff’s office at 330-643-2181.