Escaped convict caught near Bayer plant south of New Deal

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 7:52 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 6:30 PM CST
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NEW DEAL, Texas (KCBD) - An escaped convict from Hall County was captured Thursday morning near the Bayer Crop Center between Lubbock and New Deal.

Around 3 a.m., the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an escaped inmate by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

The escapee was identified by Hall County as 48-year-old Gary Darnell.

At 5:30 a.m., Bayer employees notified police of an intruder at the facility. Darnell quickly ran into one of the buildings as soon as the police arrived.

The facility was placed on lockdown while law enforcement conducted a search.

Deputies found the suspect vehicle in the area of I-27 and Loop 461 in New Deal. Deputies were led on a short vehicle chase and the suspect got out of the vehicle on the south side of New Deal and ran off.

Due to the safety of students and staff, New Deal ISD canceled school.

Darnell was caught just before 10 a.m. No injuries have been reported.

Bayer Crop Science released the following statement:

At about 5:30 this morning, Bayer team members at our facility between Lubbock and New Deal observed an intruder on our property. They notified the police. This individual then quickly ran into one of the buildings as soon as police arrived.

At the time, about 40 Bayer team members were on-site working, so we immediately went on lockdown as police searched for the individual. Our team remained on lockdown until shortly before 10 a.m. this morning, when police apprehended the intruder.

Fortunately, no one was hurt or injured.

The safety of our employees, colleagues, and the communities where we live and work is most important to Bayer.

We appreciate the rapid response of law enforcement, and are grateful the situation has come to a peaceful conclusion. We will be providing Bayer team members with support and counseling in the coming days.

Thank you to the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders.