• Residents say they had little warning about escaped Lake County inmate

    By: Lauren Seabrook


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - An escaped inmate is back behind bars after nearly 36 hours on the run, but people living near where he escaped said they weren't immediately told THAT a potentially dangerous man could have been heading for their homes.

    Officers said violent convicted felon Alinton John had a razor blade and two screwdrivers when they found him. 

    Department of Corrections officials said John stole a truck from a home near the prison last week and drove it 40 miles to get away.

    Read: Lake County prison inmate who escaped to be transferred to new facility

    Deputies found the stolen truck on East Colonial Drive on Monday morning, unmanaged, and it was returned to its owner.

    The home from which deputies said John stole the truck is about a 12-minute walk from where it was found. Several families live between where the truck was found and where John was apprehended.  

    Some of those people feel that law enforcement agencies should have a system that notifies them immediately if an inmate escapes. 

    Read: Deputies: Manhunt for inmate who escaped Lake County prison in stolen pickup discontinued

    In country neighborhoods around the prison in Lake County, residents said they generally feel safe.

    "My donkey is the best security system I got,” said Anthony Sanservino who lives across the street,. 

    But when a violent convicted felon escaped, some of Sanservino's family felt their lives could have been in danger.

    "There are so much woods around here. You never know where someone could be hiding,” said Nicole Sanservino. 

    John, who was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, ran away from his worksite just outside the prison gate.

    >>> Download the free WFTV news app <<<

    The Sanservinos didn't find out about it until later that night.

    "That wasn't right. I think we should've been informed as soon as he escaped, so we could be aware to lock our doors and stuff,” said Michelle Sanservino. 

    The Lake County Sheriff's Office said it could have done a reverse 911 call, but when deputies were responding to the stolen truck report, they already had information that John was at a relative's home in Orange County with the truck.

    Deputies arrested John in Pine Hills after he spent 33 hours on the run.

    John was a minimum custody inmate when he escaped, which is essentially a level two out of five, with five being the biggest risk.

    DOC officials have not said how or if John’s status will change. 

    Next Up: