Inmate kidnaps Department of Corrections officer in Bartow; captured in St. Petersburg

Officer was not hurt

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A Department of Corrections officer was kidnapped by an inmate Wednesday.

It happened around 12:30 p.m. as the officer and five inmates from the Polk Corrections Institution were at a work site in Bartow on Wednesday.

According to deputies, the inmate, identified as David Ross, took the officer, identified as Jeffrey Rexrode, hostage as the crew was taking lunch.

The inmate forced the officer into a City of Bartow truck and took off.

During the search for the suspect and officer, five nearby area schools were placed on heightened alert.

The suspect was captured near the intersection of Tropical Terrace and Coral Way in St. Petersburg.

The officer was not hurt.

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