Police are looking for a federal inmate who is considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Police say 37-year-old Derek Capozzi escaped from a detention center van in the area of Highway 33 and the Bluegrass Parkway in Woodford County around 10 a.m. Thursday.
Capozzi was serving time for several violent charges, including the dismemberment of a 19-year-old woman, and taking part in organized crime.
Capozzi is white, around 5'8", 187 pounds, and heavily tattooed. We're told he was last seen wearing a white shirt and khaki pants.
Investigators say Capozzi was handcuffed at the time, with leg irons and a belly chain. U.S. Marshals says he somehow managed to remove the leg irons while inside the van.
One of the correctional officers from Grayson County did chase after Capozzi after he escaped from the van, but was not able to reach him.
It's believed Capozzi may have reached Fayette County, near the Woodford County line.
Around 10 p.m. Thursday, someone leaving Ramsey's on Military Pike in Lexington spotted a man matching Capozzi's description, trying to flag down vehicles.
Police considered it a credible sighting and searched the area by air and land Thursday night into Friday morning.
Around 7 p.m. Thursday, a hunter spotted a man matching Capozzi's description in a field near Frogtown Lane near the Woodford - Fayette County line.
The hunter, who didn't want to be identified, told 27 NEWSFIRST he saw a white man with a shaved head and a skinny to medium build, wearing a white t-shirt.
"He was hiding in the bushes," the hunter says. "But as soon as I walked out in front of where he was about 20 yards off, he saw me and just took off running up the hillside."
Police searched farms and barns in the area early Friday morning.
Capozzi was serving a lengthy prison sentence in Pennsylvania. He was in Kentucky testifying as a witness in a Bureau of Prisons case in London.
Capozzi was being held in the Grayson County Detention Center at the time of the trial.
U.S. Marshals say two employees of the Grayson County Detention Center were transporting Capozzi to Blue Grass Airport, so he could be flown back to Pennsylvania.
Woodford County schools were locked down after Capozzi escaped Thursday and remained on lockdown Friday. Parents had to pick their children up from school Thursday, but buses returned to their routes Friday.
U.S. Marshals tell us they intend to keep searching in Central Kentucky until they have reason to believe Capozzi is no longer in the area.
We're told Capozzi was in Kentucky because last week he testified in the federal trial of an inmate accused as assaulting another inmate at the federal prison in McCreary County.
Capozzi served part of his sentence at that prison in 2008 and 2009.