Work-release inmate tries to escape, is returned to prison

A Lycoming County Prison work-release inmate bolted from his assigned work crew early Wednesday afternoon in a heavy wooded area of Armstrong Township, but he was captured within 90 minutes by a team of law enforcement officers, according to Warden Kevin DeParlos.

Ricky Harold Digan was part of a crew assigned to a county recycling truck when he fled into the woods along Mosquito Valley Road, south of DuBoistown, about 1 p.m., DeParlos said.

Officers from the county sheriff’s office and DuBoistown, South Williamsport and Montoursville police departments quickly converged on the area. They were joined by state troopers, county prison staff and members of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Digan, of the 1100 block of Old Montgomery Pike Road, South Williamsport, has been a county prison inmate since June 3 when he was incarcerated for violating a protection from abuse order, DeParlos said.

Digan was sentenced 10 days later for twice violating such an order. He received two consecutive county prison sentences – one for 90 days and another for four months, Deparlos said.

The inmate was moved from the jail to the prison’s pre-release center in early July, he added.

As Digan attempted to avoid capture by hiding in heavy vegetation in very steep terrain near the South Williamsport-Armstrong Township line, officers used two all-terrain vehicles, owned by the South Williamsport Police Department, during their search.

Two sheriff deputies spotted the inmate and nabbed him just south of the 800 block of West Eighth Avenue in South Williamsport about 2:20 p.m.

Digan immediately was committed to the the Lycoming County Prison on West Third Street. The county’s district attorney’s office will charge Digan with escape in the coming weeks, according to Chief County Detective William Weber.