Authorities search for former Vandalia man who escaped custody in Pana

CHRISTIAN COUNTY — Authorities in Christian County are searching for a 21-year-old rural Tower Hill man who escaped from county deputies over the weekend.

Gregory Hays (Source: CCSD)
Gregory Hays
(Source: CCSD)

Gregory P. Hays escaped from a Christian County deputy late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning in the parking lot of the Pana Police Department. The deputy was transporting Hays for the Pana Police Department, which had arrested him on a domestic battery charge.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said Hays was handcuffed with hands behind his back. He took off running when the deputy started to unlock the patrol car.

The deputy chased Hays and eventually tackled him. Hays was able to get up and then flee from the deputy.

Warrants were issued Monday morning for Hays for escape, criminal damage to state supported property, theft of state supported property and domestic battery.

Hays is described a white male, 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. He is also known to have lived in Vandalia and is scheduled for a September 15, pre-trial hearing in Fayette County Court on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, as well as felony theft charges.

Anyone with information about Hays’ location is asked to call the Christian County Sheriff’s Office at 824-4961, the Christian County Crime Stoppers at 217-824-9100, or your local law enforcement agency.