Escaped Buffalo County Inmate Caught

Jonathan Beattie

An inmate who escaped the Buffalo County Jail was caught by police Friday afternoon.

Jonathan Beattie was on work release Thursday and never returned to jail after his shift ended.

Beattie was in jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance and theft. He left the jail to walk to Arbys on Second Avenue for his work release program. The fast food restaurant is only half a mile from the jail.

He never returned to the jail after his shift. Authorities think he removed his GPS ankle bracelet and left it at the job site. Workers at Arbys say he only worked there for a couple of days.

Friday afternoon, Kearney Police found him at the Country Side Mobile Home Park on 15th Avenue.

“We got an anonymous tip that Jonathan Beattie was at a residence here in town so we went over knocking on the door and he gave himself up pretty quickly,” said Kearney Police officer Tim Beckenhauer.

Authorities had posted a photo of Beattie on Facebook Thursday night, which they think led to the anonymous tip.

“We try to put things out that people would be interested in or public safety items. It’s just great citizens are paying attention and when they do, they pick up the phone and call us,” said Beckenhauer.

Police report even though he escaped, he was not dangerous to the public. They say this kind of incident is rare for the Buffalo County Jail, noting that participants of the work release program usually return right away after their shift.

Beattie is back in jail and will likely face escape charges, and because he violated rules, he will not be able to go back on the work release program.