POMPANO BEACH, FL – Two violent fugitives who escaped from a Tennessee prison are back in custody following an exhaustive search by the Broward Sheriff’s Office that lasted more than 10 hours and encompassed a myriad of agency resources on Sunday.
Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators say Robert Brown, 36, and Christopher Osteen, 34, embarked on a violent crime spree and terrorized a pair of victims following their escape from the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee on Friday. Brown and Osteen kidnapped, blindfolded and carjacked a Kentucky Highway Department employee and subsequently kidnapped a second victim, stole his car and money and left him tied up inside his home for 16 hours.
Additionally, detectives say Brown and Osteen confessed to committing multiple residential burglaries, attempting to steal firearms in anticipation of a possible shootout with law enforcement.
Around 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies in the Pompano Beach district were alerted to a stolen vehicle carrying the fugitives. Deputies, along with the U.S. Marshals, began an intensive search. A short time later, Broward Sheriff’s Office K-9 units and deputies from Pompano Beach located the car, an older model red Chevy Silverado, stolen out of Tennessee.
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Following several hours of searching by Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Aviation, K-9 and Marine Patrol units, detectives with the Broward Sheriff’s Office V.I.P.E.R. (Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response) Unit located the escapees in a parking lot at 615 N. Ocean Boulevard in Pompano Beach. Both men fled on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, deputies arrested fugitive Robert Brown without incident. The other escapee, Christopher Osteen, managed to get away.
Broward Sheriff’s Office established a large perimeter, and about five hours later, deputies located Osteen at about 8:15 p.m. hiding under a trailer. Broward Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team utilized less lethal force to convince Osteen to surrender.
“The men and women of Broward Sheriff’s Office responded to an imminent threat in our community and did so flawlessly, removing two highly dangerous fugitives from our streets and back into the hands of justice,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “Our efforts to safeguard Broward County residents is a never ending mission.”
Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators said Brown and Osteen intended to steal a boat and flee the country. Brown and Osteen were interviewed by Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Violent Crimes Unit detectives and booked into the Broward County Main Jail. Brown’s original charges in Tennessee are rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and theft. Osteen’s original charges in Tennessee include aggravated burglary and aggravated assault.