Georgia Department of Corrections
James E. Donald, Commissioner
Director of Public Affairs
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (404) 656-9772
For Immediate Release
Clay County – Georgia Department of Corrections and local Clay County law enforcement agents successfully captured probationer Mark Hugo along the Pataula Creek on Tuesday, July 22nd. Officials were notified that same day that Hugo had removed his electronic monitoring device and absconded after learning of new charges pending against him in Calhoun County, Georgia. Forty-eight year old Hugo was serving fourteen years probation for aggravated child molestation on a case out of Florida.
State probation officers Scott Taylor and Rusty Chapman, along with Clay County Deputy Locke Shivers and volunteer Broughton Shivers, began their search in the Pataula Creek, where Hugo was suspected of hiding. After canoeing for approximately three miles, the team abandoned their watercraft and walked through the rough terrain, eventually finding Hugo’s makeshift campsite. Although Hugo was armed, he was arrested without incident due to the cooperation and teamwork between local and state law enforcement professionals.
“This was a day I will never forget,” said Probation Officer Taylor. “I can truly say that Officer Chapman and I would never have made it out of the creek had it not been for the assistance of Deputy Shivers and Broughton Shivers.”
“This is a great example of how agencies come together to protect the public,” said Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald. “Our probation officers and law enforcement agents have dangerous jobs and I’m happy this situation ended without incident.”
As the fifth largest prison system in the United States the department is responsible for supervising over 57,000 state prisoners and 140,000 probationers. The Department of Corrections is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with nearly 15,000 employees.