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Leake County escapee captured near Mobile

By Staff
From staff and wire reports
Nov. 9, 2001
SARALAND, Ala. An escaped Leake County, Miss., convict was captured Thursday in Alabama following a crime spree that included attacking a Meridian school teacher last week.
Michael Patrick Hanks, 49, escaped Oct. 31 while serving a 60-year sentence for assaults and sex crimes. He was captured in Saraland, just north of Mobile, and is being held in the Mobile jail.
Hanks was arrested during a home-invasion robbery similar to an incident in Montgomery where a woman was sexually assaulted Monday.
He also was accused of robbing a Mobile woman in her home Thursday before his capture. Investigators said the Mobile victim was not assaulted or injured.
Police said Hanks posed as a plumber when he sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint in her east Montgomery home.
Hanks apparently fled Mississippi after attacking the Meridian school teacher in her home on Nov. 2, tying her up, stealing money and then taking her vehicle.
Hanks had been reported in the school teacher's neighborhood the night before. A neighbor called the Meridian Police Department about a suspicious man in his back yard about 6:30 p.m.
The escapee claimed his wife had kicked him out of the house, and that he was camping out in the woods. He asked for a drink of water. The neighbor said he was going to call the police.
About 20 police officers from a number of law enforcement agencies, as well as a canine officer, searched the area until about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 2 but did not find Hanks.
The teacher was attacked about four hours later.