Tequesta, Fla. - It took a team of more than 50 law enforcement officers to capture an escaped inmate from Alabama in Martin County Tuesday.
Martin County Sgt. Joseph Collazo described what it took to bring 24-year-old Brady Kilpatrick’s two-day escape to an end.
Collazo said Martin County deputies got a tip from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office around 5:30 PM Tuesday that Kilpatrick was likely in Martin County.
Sheriff William Snyder said Walker County, Alabama law enforcement authorities first contacted Palm Beach County, with information suggesting Kilpatrick was in Tequesta.
Palm Beach County investigators contacted Martin County with that information.
The two agencies teamed up and came up with a game plan for capture.
They staged in a Martin County Fire Station parking lot, only blocks away from SE Hobart Street, and the home where investigators believed they would find Kilpatrick hiding.
From that parking lot, Collazo was among the law enforcement officers giving direction to undercover deputies.
“The very first priority was to set a perimeter around the residence so if he is in there, he’s not getting out,” Collazo said.
They did not want to give him the chance to run.
“That guy has already shown there’s motive to run from the law and he’ll do whatever it takes basically,” Collazo said.
Undercover deputies were hiding in a wooded area about 100 feet from the house.
Others were in nearby, unmarked cars. Others were in the sky, watching the home from about 6,000 feet in the air, high enough that the helicopter could not be seen or heard.
“We felt comfortable at least knowing if he came out of the house, we would know, and immediately lock down the area.”
Walker County authorities were on the phone, giving real time information that was useful to deputies on the ground, such as tattoo descriptions to help deputies positively identify Kilpatrick.
Deputies on the ground and in the air never laid eyes on Kilpatrick, but felt confident in the intelligence they collected. They also found a car in the driveway with an Alabama license plate from the Walker County area.
Collazo was among the law enforcement officers who moved in for the arrest.
“We pulled in the driveway and everyone kind of fell in line behind us,” Collazo said. His car would have been used as a shield had there been gunfire.
Deputies called for Kilpatrick’s surrender.
“He immediately put his hands up and walked out on his own free will,” Collazo said. “He’s just like you know, I had to try something.”
Three other people inside the home were also arrested within minutes. Kilpatrick’s sister and her fiancé were arrested on aiding and abetting charges. A third person in the home was arrested on drug possession charges.
Collazo credits good police work, trust and collaboration between multiple agencies for ending the manhunt safely.