County Inmate Flees Work Detail and Captured

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, an inmate housed at the Columbia County Detention Facility escaped from a work detail and was captured a short time later.

At approximately 10:15 am, John Keene was assigned to a work detail at the intersection of S.W. Pinemount Ave and S.W. Birley Rd. Keene ran from the detail and into an adjacent neighborhood.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies immediately established a perimeter in the area. CCSO K-9 units along with K-9 units from the FL Department of Corrections and the FL Wildlife Conservation Commission began a track of Keene. Keene was tracked to the area of Magical Terrace where a witness advised them that Keene was picked up in a vehicle. Keene allegedly asked someone driving by to give him a ride. Deputies were able to determine that Keene was dropped off at the Challenge Learning Center which is a few blocks from his home.

Deputies responded to the area to search for Keene. Deputies learned that a friend of Keene’s lived nearby. CCSO deputies responded to 1023 NW Highlands Loop and discovered Keene hiding in a bedroom closet. He was taken into custody without incident at approximately 12:10 pm. Keene’s friend, Felipe Ortega was also arrested for aiding and abetting Keene.

John Keene is pre-trial inmate at the Columbia County Detention Facility. Keene was arrested in June of 2012 on narcotics charges and is awaiting trial.


John J. Keene, 01/14/1983
560 NW Ashley St., Lake City, FL
Charges: Escape
Bond: NONE

Felipe Ortega, 7/8/1981
1023 NW Highlands Loop, Lake City, FL
Charges: Accessory after the fact
Bond: $10,000.00