Former Vandalia man who fled while in handcuffs back in custody

CHRISTIAN COUNTY — A 21-year-old former Vandalia man who escaped police custody in Pana earlier this month was captured Wednesday night.

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

Gregory P. Hays, of rural Tower Hill was caught in rural Shelby County by the U. S. Marshal’s Fugitive Units from the Central and Southern Illinois Division and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release issued Thursday night by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.

Hays had been on the run since Sept. 12, when he escaped the custody of a Christian County deputy in the parking lot of the Pana Police Department. The deputy had been transporting Hays for Pana police, which had arrested him on domestic battery charges.

He is also known to have lived in Vandalia and was scheduled for a September 15, pre-trial hearing in Fayette County Court on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, as well as felony theft charges.

Authorities said Hays was handcuffed with hands behind his back when he took off running while the deputy started to unlock the patrol car. The deputy chased Hays and eventually tackled him. Hays was able to get up and flee from the deputy.