EXCLUSIVE: Captured inmate says he tried to escape for his family

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Brandon Fain emerged from the woods and swamp Tuesday about 20 hours after he escaped from a work crew.

CBS 4 got a chance to talk to Brandon while he was getting checked for ticked bites and possible dehydration. He says the reason he ran was for his family.

“I mean, I got family stuff too, it pushed me to do it,” Fain said.

The deputy who took Fain to the Bradford County Jail says Fain told him he just got news that his grandmother in North Carolina was ill and he was going to try to get back to her.

“It wasn’t planned, but it was purposefully,” Fain said. “I decided to take off.”

That was Monday, and 20 hours later he was back in custody.

“He was spotted by the Department of Corrections in the median,” said Gordon Smith, Bradford County Sheriff. “In the middle of (U.S. Highway) 301 just north of Lawtey. About a half mile from the Bradford-Clay county line.”

“I surrendered and I didn’t put up a fight,” Fain said. “I wasn’t going to hurt nobody, that wasn’t my intentions. I had plenty of chances, I could have took somebody’s car but I wouldn’t do anything like that.”

Fain was covered in ticks and briers from trekking the swamp all night. Authorities say they were actually surprised to find him in that good of condition.

“He’s a little roughed up,” Smith said. “Not from the men and women, but from the terrain. The swamp, the wooded areas that he had to go through on the run, and as he said, he really didn’t have a plan he just left.”

Fain says no matter what it took, he was going to try to get to his family. He said he was planning on hitchhiking up to North Carolina.

Fain said he was three months in on a four-year-sentence for grand theft.

Now he faces even more prison time.

“He’s just going to tack on even more time,” Smith said. “Which is going to keep him from his family even longer. So it wasn’t real rational to just leave a work area when you’re in the middle of the swamp.”

When asked what Fain would like to tell the public, he said, “Don’t run.”

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