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Cuffed N.C. man escapes booking area

Authorities are searching for the escapee in a rural, sparsely populated area


Law enforcement officers and K-9 units are searching for Corey Tyrick Smith.

Currituck County Sheriff’s Office

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

MAPLE, N.C. — A strange manhunt is underway along the North Carolina coast for a man stuck in a pair of handcuffs.

He escaped the Currituck County Detention Center before deputies could get him locked in a cell, according to the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the unincorporated Maple community in the state’s northeast corner. Maple is about 180 miles northeast of Raleigh on the coast.

“Corey Tyrick Smith ... was in the booking area in the process of getting a magistrate order for the warrant when he fled out the door into the wood line,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “Corey is handcuffed. ... Last known not to be armed.”

He vanished into a landscape that is perfect for hiding.

Currituck County is a largely rural, sparsely populated county that borders Virginia on the north and Coinjock Bay to the east. It is also one of the state’s least populated counties, with just over 29,000 residents.

The suspect is 22, lives in Elizabeth City (17 miles southwest of Maple) and was being arrested after he failed to appear in court on a felony larceny charge, officials said.

He was last seen in jeans and a brown jacket that will be challenging to remove until he gets out of the cuffs.

“Several law enforcement officers and k-9 unit (are) on search around the Maple area,” officials said.

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