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Up the creek without a paddle, literally

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A Savannah man who escaped from a transitional center and tried to elude capture in a canoe without a paddle was arrested.

Frederick Neil Rushing, 36, was apprehended by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Marine Patrol Officers and officers from Metro's helicopter Eagle One, aided by Islands Precinct Crime Suppression and Patrol officers, Georgia Department of Natural Resources officers and members of the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Rushing had tried to escape from officers investigating a theft from the visitor's center of Wormsloe Plantation by "paddling away in a plastic canoe using only his hands about 4:15 p.m. His broken paddle was found in a camp he had set up on the state-owned plantation property," police say.

Isle of Hope residents alerted officers of a man living in the woods before the reports. Police already had identified him as a runaway from the Georgia Coastal Transitional Center before the helicopter pilot led Marine Patrol officers to the canoe at another camp about 6 p.m. They found him hiding under the canoe on Long Island, between Wormsloe and Skidaway.

A warrant charging him with escape had been issued April 8. Detectives are investigating burglaries in the area to determine a connection.

• Detectives are seeking witnesses to a 3 a.m. confrontation on West Broughton Street that left two victims with gunshot wounds.

Vaughn Cornelia, 20, was transported to Memorial University Medical Center by Emergency Medical Services and taken to surgery. Mamie Smith, 20, was transported to the same hospital by private automobile with a non-life threatening wound. As many as 100 people were present near Broughton and Jefferson as the incident took place just before 3 a.m.

An officer was "near the intersection when several shots were fired and he moved into the large crowd to find Cornelia being placed in a car. He advised that an ambulance was in route and began first aid for Cornelia as other officers tended to the unruly crowd and secured the scene," a spokesman says.

Gunfire also broke windows of two businesses and additional officers were assigned to the hospital where "several bystanders announced they would follow victims."

The investigation is continuing. Police seek for questioning a black male in his late teens or 20s with short, curly hair and a slight goatee and "an unusual large tattoo on his right forearm." Anyone with info is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637). A confidential Tip Line is open at (912) 525-3124.

• Detectives and forensics officers have identified a 47-year-old man who is in serious condition, apparently after falling through the roof of a warehouse.

Patrol officers responded to a call at ABC Supply Co. on the 1300 block of Rogers Street at 7 a.m. after employees found Russell Aaron Bishop on the concrete floor. He had fallen from about 30 feet. At the hospital forensics officers identified him from his fingerprint.

Officers had been called to the location about 1 a.m. when an employee reported a window had been broken and a man was caught on video entering a truck. Officers found no one and the building doors were secured.

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