A suspected rapist trying to make his way from Florida to Mexico was captured on Interstate 12 by Louisiana State Police, a news release says.
Troopers caught James Watkins, 33, of Brookville, Fla., on Friday near the Tangipahoa/Livingston parish line, says the release from Trooper First Class Nick Manale.
Watkins is a suspect in the sexual battery of a child younger than 12, the release says. And he is a registered sex offender convicted of two previous sexual batteries of children.
State Police got involved about 4:30 p.m. Friday when they received an alert to watch for a 2001 Kia Sephia driven by Watkins. Watkins is on probation in Florida, but fled there after the current allegation of rape, the release says.
U.S. Marshals learned that Watkins was traveling on I-10 entering Louisiana and probably heading to Mexico, Manale’s release says.
Troopers, who had taken positions along I-10 and I-12 searching for Watkins’ car, spotted the Kia heading west on I-12 and stopped him, the release says.
State Police took Watkins into custody without incident and booked him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail awaiting extradition to Florida, the release says.