Anyone who owns a cabin that’s unoccupied most of the year always keeps in the back of their mind the possibilities that someone may have taken up residence during the off-season. It could be a bear, raccoon, or even worse. 

A couple in Coffee County, Alabama visiting their hunting cabin recently had a frightening experience when they discovered an escaped inmate and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

RELATED: Search for Escaped Convicts Turns to Hunters

Clayton Wells, who owns the cabin, was carrying a pistol when he entered the cabin and found the man walking past the door. That’s when he and his both drew guns on the intruder.

He told WSFA in Alabama that he saw the man wearing his hunting gear — cammo, head lamp, fanny pack and holding a knife. That’s when his training in federal and state corrections systems kicked in. 

Jeffrey Scott had escaped a nearby correctional facility in June and it’s unclear how long exactly he may have been living in the cabin. 

With his gun drawn, Wells told the man to drop the knife. And when he didn’t comply, he fired a warning shot into the wall. At that point Scott threw the knife over by the sink.

Then he tried to reach into the fanny pack, saying he wanted to smoke a cigar, and Wells said no way.

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“I tell him to keep your hands away from the pack,” he told the station. “I’m telling you right now I’m going to shoot you if you don’t comply with what I’m telling you.”

Jennifer Wells said the situation could have been much worse and was thankful she was there with backup. 

All I could think of was he was fixing to go after and get that gun. We’re talking three feet and all he needed to do was lunge at him,” she said. “If he didn’t have that gun on him, I don’t think the outcome would have been good.”

Hunting cabins seem to be a favorite refuge for escaped inmates, and it makes sense. They are located in rural areas and are often vacant most of the year.

When two inmates escaped from a correctional facility in upstate New York, law enforcement called on hunters to check their cabins. But do so cautiously. 


Photo credit: WSFA