WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 05, 2011, 05:21 PM

Escaped offender says he ran because "he was starving"

Tower City, ND (WDAY TV) - A massive man hunt near Tower City has ended peacefully.

A massive man hunt near Tower City has ended peacefully. Joseph Megna, a high risk sex offender who escaped from a prisoner transport van early Tuesday night is now in custody after a near 24 hour search, but in a bizarre move, authorities gave Megna the chance to speak to the media just before being sent to jail.

Authorities closed in on Megna as local farmers banded together with combines to harvest him out of the field he was hiding in, and shortly after he was arrested authorities gave us the chance to talk to Megna. It might surprise you to hear why he says he ran.

Megna was being transported from New Hampshire and eventually to Washington to face criminal sexual assault and child molestation charges. He escaped custody of Extradition Transport America Company after authorities say he was not properly restrained after stopping at a Rest Area near Tower City. Megna was actually spotted early this morning in a nearby barn but deputies reported he was quickly seen running back in to the field shouting "I am not armed, you can’t shoot me."

The manhunt lasted almost 24 hours and came to an end around 2:30 when a Barnes County deputy on a combine spotted Megna in the field. We got a chance to speak to Megna after his arrest, and asked him why he ran.

Joseph Megna – Capture Convict: “I was starving, and that’s why I’ve escaped and fled out in to the corn field. I wasn't trying to hurt anybody. I was just trying to get out of that transport because I was starving.”

Megna was brought to the Barnes County jail and will be booked on escaping charges.