Fla. inmate walks away from work crew to buy sweet tea

Taylor Fender, 23, was part of an inmate crew from Putnam Corrections Institute


By Joe Mario Pedersen
Orlando Sentinel

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — An inmate serving a five-year prison sentence walked away from a work crew Monday morning to buy clothes and a sweet tea, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Taylor Fender, 23 of Okaloosa County, was part of an inmate crew from Putnam Corrections Institute in East Palatka. The crew was working on State Road 20 and County Road 315 in Interlachen.

Fender walked away from the crew and into a Family Dollar store where he bought clothes, authorities said. A witness notice Fender and called 911. Fender left the store and went to a Poppi’s Restaurant.

It just so happened a deputy was pulling into the same restaurant for lunch, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy received a description about a missing inmate, identified Fender and arrested him after Fender had paid for a sweet tea, the agency said.

An escape charge was forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office.

However, the sweet tea was left at the restaurant. “For some Southerners, that could be considered the bigger crime,” PCSO said in a tweet.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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