A deputy who received a call from a fugitive who was on the run for forty years first thought that the call was a prank. Escapee Clarence David Moore surrendered after more than four decades because he is now ailing and is in need of a legitimate Social Security number to get medical subsidy from the government.
Fugitive Clarence David Moore surrendered after being on the run for forty years
The deputy who received Moore’s call on April 22 thought Moore was just playing with him, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton told USA Today. However, they arrested an old man who is already bed-ridden due to a stroke that paralyzed half of his body. The old fugitive could not get medical care without a legitimate Social Security number, USA Today reported.
Melton said that as soon as Moore saw them at his home in Kentucky to make their arrest, the 66-year-old man broke into tears. He was more than happy to be arrested and be done and over with his crimes.
However, there lies a big question involving Moore’s case: a question involving the interest of taxpayers and his old age.
“At the end of the day, there is the big question of what is in the best interest of the taxpayers and justice to take someone like that and make them sit in prison for what remaining time he has, or do they just purge that and forgive it,” Melton said.
On the run for forty years
Moore was convicted of larceny in North Carolina in 1967. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but was able to escape. He was arrested again in 1971 but was able to escape again in 1972. Police apprehended him in 1975 but, again, had successfully escaped in 1976.
Moore managed to live with the name Ronnie T. Dickinson, among many aliases he used.
He has a girlfriend who told police she did not know anything about his past. Their neighbors described him as a nice but very private person.
In the eyes of Jim Clark, Moore was an attentive neighbor who collected their mails when they were away for family vacations. Moore would even remind them when they left their garage door open.
“He was a nice neighbor. He was a very compassionate person. He didn’t have any hatred in his heart toward anyone,” Clark told The Associated Press.
Another neighbor, Richard Colyer, described Moore as a very private person who was fond of sitting on his front porch to wait for the mail.
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