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Naked inmate sought near Orangeburg after hospital escape, authorities say

Austin Craig Nettles
Austin Craig Nettles(Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:44 PM EDT
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (The T&D) - Authorities are seeking an inmate who allegedly escaped from the Regional Medical Center on Friday afternoon.

Austin Craig Nettles is described as a white male standing 5 feet 11 inches with long brown hair.

“Right now we believe he has no clothes on, so he shouldn’t be hard to spot,” Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office Major Rene Williams said.

The sheriff’s office is searching an area along St. Matthews Road from Fire Tower Road to State A&M Road. The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, and the S.C. Highway Patrol are all helping with the search.

“We think we have him contained in a wooded area,” Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.

Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said one of the officers spotted the man on the train tracks behind a car dealership. A perimeter was set up and officers are seeking Nettles with the assistance of K-9 units and drones. A more powerful drone is on the way.

He asked residents to be careful until Nettles is caught.

Residents along Fire Tower Road are asked to lock their doors and be on the lookout for Nettles.

Nettles allegedly escaped as he was being treated at the hospital, Young said. He was taken there after he complained of not feeling well and possibly experienced a seizure.

If you spot him, call 9-1-1.

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