By Jamie Nash
CONROE – The man at the center of an escape and manhunt that gained nationwide attention on December 1 will be tried in Montgomery County, according to First Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant.
Arcade Joseph Comeaux, Jr. 49, who was serving a life sentence in TDC for aggravated sexual assault and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, was believed to be wheelchair bound. But during transport from Huntsville’s Estelle Unit to the Stiles Unit in Beaumont, Comeaux pulled out a gun and took control of his guards and the TDCJ van. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on Monday after his arrest in Houston.
“Based on information we received from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, we obtained two warrants for aggravated robbery on Mr. Comeaux and one count of felony escape,” Grant said. “It’s my understanding the initial abduction of the transport officers occurred at approximately 45 and 105 in Conroe Texas, therefore jurisdiction for those events is properly placed in Montgomery County.”
The van was later found parked outside an abandoned hospital in Baytown with the two guards handcuffed in the back, and a window shot out from the inside. TDC officials said
Comeaux left his wheelchair and fled on foot with one of the officers’ uniforms, a shotgun and two semiautomatic pistols that also belonged to the officers. He left the behind firearm he used to commandeer the van.
Initially, police believed Comeaux was inside the old hospital, but SWAT officers searched the building and determined it was empty. A nationwide alert was issued and on Monday, he was discovered sleeping in a school bus in Houston. He fled again, but did not go far and was taken into custody, according to police, tired, hungry and barefoot.
In addition to the charges for which he was sentenced to life in prison, Comeaux’s criminal history includes convictions for raping a child, aggravated rape of a child, burglary of a building with the intent to commit theft, parole violation, and indecency with a child.
Comeaux’s two convictions for aggravated assault occurred behind bars when he attacked his wife during a visit, stabbing her with a handmade weapon, and then attacked a bystander who tried to intervene. TDC officials said Comeaux used his wheelchair to pin his wife against the wall when he attacked her.