Sonic craving leads to capture of Oklahoma fugitive in Fort Bend County


by Michelle Homer / & Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 25 at 5:42 PM

Fugitive captured

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FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- The search for Oklahoma fugitive Charles Dyer ended Thursday morning near Pecan Grove in Fort Bend County.

Dyer was walking down the street with no shirt when a Fort Bend County deputy spotted him around 8 a.m., according to the FBI.

He initially gave the deputy a fake name, then gave in and surrendered peacefully in the 9700 block of Mason Road near Farmer Road.

"He was tired. He was just wore out," said FBSO Deputy Jeremy Goodrich. "He put his hands on the car, dropped to his knees and that was it."

Dyer told deputies he hadn't eaten in four days while hiding along the Brazos River. But a craving for a Sonic cherry limeade got the best of him.

After he left the local Sonic, a mom who'd just dropped her kids off at school thought she recognized him and called 911.

"His ballcap is pulled over his face and he’s walking with his head down," the woman told the 911 operator. "It just looks very unusual."

The woman knew about the hunt for Dyer because FBI agents had gone door-to-door in her neighborhood Wednesday to warn residents that he might be in the area.

Dyer, whose jeans were covered in mud, was arrested and taken to the Fort Bend County jail, where a fingerprint check confirmed his identity.

"Anytime you get a fugitive off the streets, especially one that is a child predator, it's a major accomplishment," said FBSO Chief Deputy Craig Brady.

Dyer was arrested near Oakland Elementary and a day care center. An employee at the school said they had been informed of the capture. The school was briefly placed on lockdown, as a precaution.

Dyer, 31, had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt since Sunday when he was spotted in the Sealy area.

A man fitting his description was spotted between Wallis and Orchard in Fort Bend County on Monday.

Dozens of law officers and search dogs converged on the area near Highway 36, but the trail went cold.

The FBI led the search for Dyer, who was scheduled to stand trial in Oklahoma last week on allegations he raped a 7-year-old girl.

Authorities said Dyer’s house in Oklahoma was found burned on August 12, and he never showed up to court the following Monday.

Several command posts were set up in different areas around the country. In Texas, 11 federal, state and local agencies joined forces in the manhunt for Dyer.

The former Marine was believed to be heavily armed, but he didn't have any guns when he was captured. Deputies say he was carrying a large amount of cash.

Dyer reportedly belongs to a group called Oath Keepers. He also posts videos on YouTube under the name "July4Patriot."

Last year, Dyer was charged with unlawfully possessing a grenade launcher.

He will eventually be extradited back to Oklahoma to face the rape charge and a new charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.