TAMPA — An inmate at the Orient Road Jail escaped Thursday morning but was later recaptured at a nearby gas station, deputies said.
Jeffrey Robert Stafford, 48, was being held in Hillsborough County on a Polk County warrant for reckless driving. About 8:45 a.m., deputies were getting ready to transfer him to Polk.
That's when, deputies say, he entered a vestibule with another inmate who was being legitimately released. Stafford exited the vestibule with that person and left through the jail lobby.
Deputies found him later in the morning walking near the Hess gas station at N 50th Street and E Adamo Drive, which is about 2 miles from the jail.
The Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation to determine just how Stafford escaped and if any policies or procedures were violated.