Deputies: Inmate's stop for sweet tea leads to arrest

Taylor Fender, 23, walks away from work detail on State Road 20

Taylor Fender
Taylor Fender

INTERLACHEN, Fla. – Authorities captured a Putnam County Correctional Institute inmate who walked away from a work crew early Monday, deputies said.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office officials said Taylor Fender, 23, was part of a work detail in the area of State Road 20 near the intersection of County Road 315, when he walked away and into a nearby Family Dollar.

Deputies said Fender purchased new clothing with money, changed into the clothing and began walking south on CR 315.

A short time later, Fender stopped at an Interlachen restaurant and ordered a tea, just as a Putnam County deputy was pulling into the restaurant for lunch and heard a BOLO with the suspect’s description announced by dispatchers, officials said.

Fender, who was serving a five-year sentence on charges from Okaloosa County, was arrested without incident and taken to Putnam County Correctional Institute, deputies said. An escape charge was forwarded on to the 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.

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