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Police K9 'Chase' chases down escapee in Cornelius

A police-trained canine helped apprehend an escaped convict early Saturday morning in Cornelius.

On Aug. 20 at approximately 3:47 a.m., 22-year-old Joshua Ray Dow escaped from the Washington County Community Corrections Center (WCCCC) by climbing out a window, according to Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The WCCCC is a transitional facility and generally houses inmates who have been sentenced for low-level crimes.

“The facility allows its residents to leave during the day to seek employment [or] attend substance abuse treatment,” said Ray.

Local law enforcement agencies were alerted to Dow’s escape, and at 5:49 a.m., Deputy Michael Zaugg spotted Dow at a bus stop at Baseline Street and North 29th Avenue in Cornelius. “When Zaugg stopped to contact Dow, he ran,” said Ray. “Deputies assigned to the city of Cornelius responded to assist with containing Dow to a smaller area.”

Deputy Zaugg’s canine partner, Chase, tracked Dow until he climbed a fence near the Cornelius Cinemas and was taken into custody by a sheriff’s sergeant at 6:08 a.m.

Dow had been in custody since Aug. 4 on original charges of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Criminal Trespass I and Theft III. He is now charged

with Escape II and a parole detainer, and is being held without bail at the Washington County Jail.