Escaped Fla. inmate attacks homeowner with hammer


Published: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 2:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 2:05 p.m.

LECANTO, Fla. - Deputies pressed on with their search for an escaped jail inmate Sunday after he attacked a homeowner with a hammer, authorities said.

James Coursey
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James Coursey

In this undated photo provided by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office is a booking mug shot of James Coursey, 49, who escaped from the Citrus County Detention Facility Friday Jan. 11, 2008, in Lecanto, Fla. Deputies continued their search Saturday for Coursey, who was arrested in February, 2007, on a warrant for grand theft.

Citrus County Sheriff's Office/Associated Press

James Coursey, 49, was seen Sunday morning in a shed outside of a home in Citrus County, two days after he escaped a detention facility on foot, sheriff's spokeswoman Heather Yates said.

The homeowner who spotted Coursey approached the shed, and that's when Coursey attacked the homeowner with a hammer, Yates said.

The homeowner, who was not immediately named, suffered minor cuts and was treated on the scene, Yates said.

Coursey was seen fleeing to the south in Lecanto, a small town about 60 miles north of Tampa. Deputies in helicopters and with K-9 units on the ground were hunting for him Sunday afternoon, Yates said.

Coursey fled the Citrus County Detention Facility on Friday afternoon. He was arrested in February on a warrant for grand theft. While jailed, Coursey was charged with unarmed burglary of unoccupied structures.

Coursey is about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, with curly light brown hair and blue eyes. The public was warned not to confront Coursey if he is spotted, and call police immediately.

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