BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Howard County Police say while they are continuing their investigation into locating escaped prisoner David Watson, they are suspending their ground search.
Police say there have been no indications that 28-year-old Watson remains in the area and there have been no sightings.
However, the investigation remains active as officers from Howard County Police, U.S. Marshals Service and Maryland State Police are following up on local leads, as well as in Wicomico County, Md. as well as Delaware, where police say Watson has ties.
Police are offering up to a $5,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of a male prisoner who escaped while being transported to a Jessup hospital, according to Howard County Police.
Howard County Police says they searched for Watson throughout the day Friday, as well as overnight and into Saturday morning, in the area around Clifton T. Perkins hospital in Jessup, but haven’t been able to locate Watson, despite use of bloodhounds, K-9 units and helicopters with heat-seeking technology.
Police have released information that David M. Watson, is known to wear glasses at times.
Police have also released images of Watson’s tattoos to help identify him.
Police say Watson fled into a wooded area near the Clifton T. Perkins mental hospital while being transported by Wicomico County Detention officers.
They say it happened around 9:46 a.m. Friday, as a van arrived at the hospital with two guards on board,
“A guard opened the door after the van stopped in the parking lot. And Watson, who was the only occupant, pushed the guard to the ground and ran into the woods,” says Sherry Llewelyn, with Howard County Police.
The guards on the van were armed but their weapons were secured in lock boxes.
Police say they found handcuffs and a waist chain at the scene, but can’t confirm if Watson was wearing leg shackles.
Watson is serving more than 100 years in Delaware on attempted murder and related charges. Watson is also facing charges in Wicomico County for attempted murder.
Police say he was transported from Delaware to Wicomico County Detention Center Thursday in preparation for his evaluation at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Friday, which was court ordered.
Police don’t believe the suspect is armed. County residents tell WJZ – they’re on guard, but not afraid.
“Well it makes me want to start watching the news I guess, and being more aware and locking my doors,” says Ashely Quick.
“It doesn’t affect my daily life,” Woody Wilson says. “I mean, bad stuff happens and you can’t change it.”
Aaron Horenstein says he’s not nervous.
However, “if I had a house in the neighborhood by the prison, I’d be nervous,” he said.
Watson is described as a white, 5-foot-8 man, weighing around 140 pounds.
He was last seen in the area of Dorsey Run Road and Patuxent Range Road in a white jumpsuit, although authorities believe he may have ditched it.
Police don’t know if Watson had planned this escaped in advance or acted on impulse.
Anyone who sees a suspicious subject matching Watson’s description should call 911.