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UPDATE: Police search for man who escaped custody near I-71 and Gene Snyder in Louisville

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Police say to avoid the area where a man escaped custody Thursday.

A man escaped police custody Thursday morning near the intersection of Interstate-71 and the Gene Snyder Freeway. He remains at large as of noon as police search the surrounding area.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson Aaron Ellis identified the man as Norman K. Wolfe, who is currently facing charges in Jefferson and Trimble counties.

Wolfe was scheduled for a pretrial conference at 9:02 a.m. Thursday morning in Trimble County, about 50 minutes northeast of Louisville, according to court records. He intended to ask the judge for a competency evaluation from the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center. The records show he is scheduled for a jury trial next month in Trimble County, for charges dating back to early 2021, which include burglary, possession of a handgun as a convicted felon, wanton endangerment, and persistent felony offender.

He is facing similar charges in Jefferson County, including a charge for fleeing or evading police.

Norman K. Wolfe initially escaped police custody on the interstate near the intersection of Interstate-71 and the Gene Snyder Freeway. People should avoid the area for now, LPMD said.
Norman K. Wolfe initially escaped police custody on the interstate near the intersection of Interstate-71 and the Gene Snyder Freeway. People should avoid the area for now, LMPD said.

At 8:40 a.m. a man in orange clothing was reported to be running across the Gene Snyder Freeway, Ellis said. LMPD learned that a deputy jailer from Trimble County said he had been transporting a man when he kicked out the back window of his unmarked police car.

As police searched the area, they learned that the man, who they believe is Wolfe, kidnapped two people from the 8500 block of Brownsboro Road and forced them to drive him to the area near River Road and Edith Avenue at around 10:20 a.m. The kidnapped people were not injured, Ellis said.

Several nearby buildings were on lockdown, including at least some of the businesses in the Paddock Shops, according to a spokesperson for the shopping complex. Some nearby schools were also on soft lockdown.

Ellis said police do not know if Wolfe is armed or not.

Police also asked that people not call 911 and Louisville Metro Emergency Services to ask for information. If someone sees Wolfe, LMPD said not to approach him and instead call 911 with as much detail as possible.

This story was updated.

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Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Richmond, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.

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