Hear the 911 call that led to the capture of escaped inmate Curtis Ray Watson


HENNING, Tenn., (localmemphis.com) – Krystal Hurdle of Henning spotted escaped inmate Curtis Ray Watson on the ground surrendering when she made a 911 call. Her call helped alert searchers he was on Caroline Street near a soybean field.

“You have eyes on him?,” the 911 dispatcher said. “Yes ma’am. He surrendered. He’s on the ground,” Hurdle replied.

Her call came in around 10:50am on Sunday, and less than 20 minutes later Watson was captured. 

Harvey and Ann Taylor of Henning alerted officials when they saw Watson in their driveway from their home security camera at 3:30am. This footage was the first credible sighting of Watson after nearly five days and more than 400 leads. 

Watson’s escape from prison caused fear and unrest for people near the prison and beyond. ABC News secured an exclusive interview with Watson’s daughter, Harley Scott, about why she thinks he might have escaped. The last time Scott saw her dad was when she was 2 years old. She was not allowed to have contact with him until she was 18 years old because of the danger he imposed. 

“I’ve talked to him this year, for a year now, over the phone,” Scott said. “And, every time, he said whenever it was time for him to get out, he always said he was going to come for me or he was going to come and get me. He was wanting to meet me and get to know me.  So my immediate fear was he’s comin’ to get me.”

Scott said she and her mom had constant security at their home during his escape. She feared for her life and others, especially after he was accused of killing prison administrator Debra Johnson. Johnson’s family was relieved Watson was caught on Sunday. The family said the final 911 call that lead to his capture meant everything to them.

 “The overwhelming feeling of relief,” Annie Porter, Johnson’s mother said. “I could finally breathe.”

Johnson’s daughter, Shernay Johnson, said she’s grateful the manhunt for Watson is finally over. 

“I was just relieved and I thank the Lord, I thank the Lord that he has been caught.” Johnson said.

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