LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Residents of a rural community in Columbia County were told by police to stay inside and lock their doors as they scoured the neighborhood for a fugitive sex offender.
According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Brandon Lee Hodge, 30, failed to register his new address as required by law.
But when deputies tried to serve an arrest warrant, he took off barefoot into the woods.
"Deputies went to his home yesterday about 8:30, talked to his girlfriend who said he wasn't home. Come to find out he had fled out the back door when the cars pulled up," said Sargent Edward Seifert, Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
That led to a three hour man hunt around a one mile perimeter of Hodge's house on Southwest Buck Court in Fort White.
About 10 dogs from the K-9 units of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Corrections helped find Hodge who was eventually tracked to River Rise Park.
According to Seifert, this all would've been avoided if Hodge would've just registered his new address.
"It's important for public safety to know where these folks are at, we don't want an offender or a predator living in their home without notifying us and then we have an incident and we don't know where they are," said Seifert.
Hodge was labeled a sex offender at the age of 17 for having sex with a minor.
He is now facing additional charges which include obstruction of justice, resisting arrest without violence and failure to register as a sex offender.
"It makes no sense to run. You're not going to get anywhere. We're going to catch you," said Seifert.
Hodge is being held at the Columbia County jail on no bond.