Kentucky police search for escaped inmate who briefly kidnapped 2 people

Around 8:30 a.m., police were informed an individual was running along the lanes of traffic on I-265 wearing orange clothing, LMPD said.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 6:02 PM CDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) - Police in Kentucky are actively searching for an inmate who escaped from a transport vehicle heading to a court hearing.

WAVE reports a heavy police presence was spotted near the I-265/I-71 interchange in eastern Jefferson County on Thursday morning.

Around 8:30 a.m., police were informed of an individual seen running along the lanes of traffic wearing orange clothing. Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed the escaped inmate was 31-year-old Norman K. Wolfe.

Police say Wolfe has charges against him for burglary, fleeing, evading police and possession of a handgun as a convicted felon.

Court documents state Wolfe was expected to appear in court in Trimble County on Thursday morning.

Trimble County jailer Bobby Temple confirmed Wolfe was being taken into the county when he escaped out of the transport vehicle. It’s believed Wolfe may have gotten out through a window.

Temple said the jail officer was not hurt and is still within Jefferson County.

LMPD and other agencies began searching the surrounding area to find Wolfe, and the department told nearby businesses and schools to take precautions.

Around 11:30 a.m., officers said Wolfe had kidnapped two victims from the 8500 block of Brownsboro Road and were forced to drive the suspect to the area of River Road and Edith Avenue. The victims were found unharmed and told police the incident happened around 10:20 a.m.

Temple described Wolfe as a “very subdued inmate” and Thursday’s incident was the first trouble report they had on him.

According to court documents, Wolfe was a convicted felon out of Clark County, Indiana, and had been arrested in April in connection with a burglary.

Police said on April 6, Wolfe went to the home of a former partner and started arguing. When a third person approached Wolfe and the victim, Wolfe is said to have pulled a gun from his clothing.

The gun was passed to the third person once Wolfe saw officers at the door, and Wolfe ran towards the back of the home.

Wolfe is said to have gone to a detached garage less than a mile away and barricaded himself inside. Documents state Wolfe made threats to LMPD and SWAT, saying he would “kill himself if anyone approached him.”

He was taken into custody a short time later by police, SWAT and the Hostage Negotiation Team.

Police said new charges for Thursday’s incident are expected once Wolfe is taken into custody.

Jefferson County Public Schools said kids at several nearby schools were being kept inside until they received an all-clear from police.

Police gave the all-clear to schools to return to normal operations around 12:30 p.m. JCPS did confirm the police activity was not connected to any of the district’s schools.

Kentucky Country Day School, a private school in Louisville near the area, also confirmed it was in soft lockdown as requested by police.

LMPD said the investigation is ongoing. ATF Louisville said it is also assisting police in locating the inmate.