Authorities capture inmate mistakenly released from Henrico Jail East

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — An inmate who was accidentally released from Henrico County Jail East Tuesday night has been captured.

According to Henrico County Sheriff Michael Wade, 51-year-old Howard Allen Groffel was mistakenly released shortly after 9 p.m. Sheriff Wade said ‘a couple mistakes were made’ that led to Groffel walking out of the jail.

Groffel was found at approximately 11:45 p.m. in a wooded area roughly two miles from the jail.

Sheriff Wade said Groffel was knocking on doors in the area and asking people for rides. Those concerned citizens alerted police, which helped authorities locate him.

Groffel was behind bars for violating a protective order and intimidating a witness. He is now also being charged with escaping jail, and other charges are pending.

Authorities with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, New Kent Sheriff’s Office, Henrico Police and Virginia State Police assisted in the search efforts.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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