Laurel County jail escapee caught

By Angela Sparkman | 

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A Laurel County inmate escaped during work release Thursday morning. Officers say Dale Valentine, 32, walked away during garbage pick-up.

Valentine is back behind bars. He was found hiding at house near the Laurel-Knox County line.

Clifford Disney, who lives at the home, says a stranger just showed up at his doorstep.

"He asked if he could get warm. I talked to him for a few minutes, and he finally told me he was an escapee, and I told him, 'Best thing for you to do is turn yourself in,'" said Clifford Disney.

Laurel County jail officers say Valentine walked away from work detail on Dan Westerfield Road around 10:30 in the morning.
Officers say it appears he walked through the woods to Robinson Creek Road. Investigators say he stole clothes out of a barn and then stopped at Disney's home and Christina Smallwood's home next door.

"I was like, you're an escapee? I got kids in the house so that made me nervous," said Christina Smallwood.

Police searched the area for Valentine for several hours.

Smallwood says Valentine asked them for help hiding. "He said, 'Alls I know is, I know a cop passed down through here, I just don't want to be caught. Can you at least help me try to get away from here?' He wanted to go to Gray." said Smallwood.

Smallwood says she called her brother who alerted police.

She says Valentine tried to hide. Disney says Valentine went behind his home and crawled up behind a doghouse. Police caught Valentine there.

Records show Valentine was in jail serving time for DUI, drug paraphernalia, and traffic violation charges. He was scheduled to be released on Monday. Clifford Disney says Valentine told him his parole was being revoked so he escaped.

Now Valentine faces even more jail time. Jail officers charged Valentine with escape and other charges are possible.

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