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Oct. 19, 1999
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Air Search Aids Officers In Capture Of Escapee

CaughtCAUGHT: Deputy David Dunn (left) and Greenville Chief of Police Lou Lorton lead a man out of a corn field who was the subject of a manhunt Thursday morning in the southeast part of Greenville.


ParachuteBIRD'S EYE VIEW: Two powered parachutes were used to search a corn field for a man wanted by police. The pilots located the man and hovered over him until he could be reached by police. Roger Bean, of Wisconsin, is pictured here searching the field. Roy Beisswenger, owner of Easy Flight of Greenville, was the first powered parachute pilot to spot the suspect.



It took police officers from three agencies and two powered parachute aircrafts to find a man in a cornfield Friday morning, but they got their man.

George Batista, 38, was taken into custody about 9:40 a.m. after pilots of the powered parachutes found him in the field along South Elm street in Greenville. Batista was the subject of a search after he and another man were stopped by a Bond county deputy Friday night in the vicinity of Interstate 70 and Illinosi Rt. 127 Thursday night.

The passenger, William De-Jesus, 34, Tampa, Fla., remained in the vehicle, however Batista fled on foot. Officers from the sheriff’s department, Greenville police and the Greenville canine unit searched the area for Batista for several hours before deciding to end the search about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

At approximately 8:45 a.m., police received word that a person was seen in the area around GrandPa’s. Officers rushed to the area.

When they arrived, they learned Greenville public works employees had seen the man and he fled into a cornfield/wooded area between Route 40 and Bowman Industrial Drive.

That area was surrounded sheriff’s deputies, Greenville police, the public works employees and Illinois State Police troopers. The canine unit was also sent to the scene.

Police decided that the best way to search the field and woods would be from the air. A call to the Greenville Airport resulted in Roy Beisswenger and Roger Bean flying to the area in their powered parachutes.

After flying the field and woods approximately 20 minutes, Beisswenger sighted Batista in the cornfield, only 10 to 15 feet from Elm street. Police and a city employee rushed to the area and took Batista into custody.

The wanted man was lying on the ground. Greenville Police Chief Lou Lorton said Batista remained on the ground and said nothing. He was walked out of the field and given his Miranda rights.

Police knew by the time they arrested Batista that the car he had allegedly been driving was stolen. Batista appeared in court Friday afternoon.

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