WATAUGACOUNTY, N.C. -- An inmate who escaped custody on Monday has been apprehended after leading officers on a pursuit in a stolen vehicle, according to the Watauga County Sheriff's Office.

James Brandon Smith used needle-nose pliers to break free from his restraints, then was able to over take a deputy with the Alexander County Sheriff's Office while en route back to the Watauga County Detention Center following a court appearance in Alexander County, officials say.

Smith escaped the patrol car in the area of Old Highway 421 North in Boone.

A massive, multiple-agency search ensued.

A resident reported her Toyota 4Runner as stolen Monday afternoon.

Damascus Police in Washington County, Virginia, apprehended Smith after a pursuit in the stolen 4Runner, officials say. Smith crashed the vehicle, fled on foot, and was apprehended a short time later, according to the Watauga County Sheriff's Office.

Smith is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, breaking or entering a motor vehicle, escaping from a local jail and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Read or Share this story: