MILLER COUNTY, AR (KSLA) - Arkansas State prison officials and the United States Marshal's Office have been called in to assist the Miller County Sheriff's Department find a convicted drug dealer who reportedly escaped Tuesday in Texarkana.
Authorities say 34-year-old Daroyce Rodgers had just been sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug charges when he asked if he could give his mother a hug. That's when deputies say Rodgers bolted out of the courtroom, injuring two court bailiffs in the process. Now, Rodgers' family is worried about his safety.
"I don't uphold my son in running, I want my son found and okay. I don't want to see him hurt from this," says Denise Rodgers, Daroyce Rodgers' mother. "He is just a young man, just afraid inside of what is happening to him and what he has to face."
"We were fixin [about] to put the cuffs on him and he hugged his mother then jumped right on top of his mother and ran," says court bailiff Bobby Lacefield.
"He called me back up there to hug me and to tell me he loved me and everything was going to be alright," says Denise Rodgers. "I saw it in his eyes, he snapped. A mother knows."
Inside the courtroom, Daroyce Rodgers jumped over a railing leaving a white shoe and his pocket bible behind.
"He was like a deer, he was bound by two steps, jumped plum down the stairway on his first jump down the stairway and out the building he went," says Chief of Court Security Thomas Harness.
Police searched for hours in a wooded area near downtown Texarkana, but did not find Daroyce Rodgers.
Our photographer asked Denise Rodgers if there was anywhere she thought her son would go.
"No sir, because if I did, I would go to him and tell him to turn himself in because that is the right thing to do," answered Denise Rodgers.
"I will say there will probably be some upgrade in our policy," says Harness.
Records show that Daroyce Rodgers had been out on a $50,000 bond since June 2014. Investigators say he is now considered a state fugitive.
Anyone with information on Daroyce Rodgers' whereabouts is urged to call the Miller County Sheriff's Department at 870-774-3001.