FBI agents arrested a 31-year-old D.C. Jail escapee after a brief foot chase in Northeast Washington last night and charged him with kidnaping a Maryland woman and demanding $25,000 ransom during his brief 37-hour absence from jail.
Agents tackled Rodney Patterson as he tried to flee from his late model luxury car in the 2600 block of New York Avenue NE after agents spotted the alleged kidnap victim in the car and pulled it over, according to Dana E. Caro, special agent in charge of the Baltimore FBI field office.
A loaded .38 caliber pistol was recovered by FBI agents at the scene, but no shots were fired during the arrest, Caro said.
The alleged kidnap victim, identified as Paulette Lovett, of the Baltimore suburb of Woodlawn, was freed from the car, apparently unharmed, Caro said.
A second man in the car escaped on foot, he said, and agents were still searching for him late last night.
Patterson's arrest ended an intensive manhunt involving more than 40 FBI agents since Patterson scaled a D.C. Jail wall to freedom early Saturday, authorities said.
Sentenced recently to 8 to 24 years for bank robbery, he overpowered a guard at a loading dock and went over the wall.
A few hours later, FBI agents in Baltimore received a call from Bernard Jerome Lee of suburban Bluffdale who said Lovett, his sister-in-law, had just been abducted from her home.
Lee, who according to the FBI has been convicted in the past of narcotics trafficking and had two of his own children kidnaped and returned unharmed in 1975, said the abductors demanded $25,000, the FBI said.
Caro said Lee cooperated fully with agents and during the next several hours engaged in a series of telephone negotiations with the kidnapers on where the ransom money was to be "dropped." Agents listened in on the calls.
Several "proposed drop sites" were discussed, Caro said, but no final agreement had been reached when a three-agent team cruising one of the proposed sites near New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road at about 8 o'clock last night spotted a woman in a car who looked like Lovett.
The occupants of the car "apparently were scouting out the drop site," said Caro. Agents followed the car for five to 15 minutes, he said, then pulled it over.
A man bolted from the car but was tackled by agents and arrested, Caro said. A second man in the car escaped on foot, he said.
Patterson was formally charged with kidnaping and was being held in D.C. Jail last night, Caro said.
Agents were still interviewing Lovett last night about details of the abduction, Caro said. In Lee's previous kidnaping experience, two men abducted two of his daughters and demanded $100,000 in March 1975. The children were returned unharmed, the men arrested and convicted of kidnaping.