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Escaped Hall child molester captured in Dawson
Man did not return Friday from work release
1005MOLESTER Coker
Michael Keith Coker

A convicted child molester wanted on a felony escape charge in Hall County was taken into custody Saturday in Dawsonville.

Michael Keith Coker, 21, of Gainesville, did not return Friday to the Hall County Work Release facility from his work release assignment with a lawn service company, officials alleged.

On Saturday, Dawson County deputies received information he was staying at an extended stay lodge near downtown Dawsonville.

"When officers arrived they learned he had fled on foot into the woods approximately 20 minutes earlier," Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten said.

Officers searched the area but did not find the suspect.

Afterward, Cpl. Jimmi Smith returned to the area to set up surveillance equipment and was in the woods when Coker attempted to return to the lodge, Wooten said

"He took him down at gunpoint and took him into custody," Wooten said.

According to the Hall County arrest warrant, Coker was being held on a probation violation for failing to register as a sex offender.

Coker was convicted of child molestation in 2004, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Registry.

The facility where he was housed on Barber Road is a minimum security facility, unlike the Hall County Jail, which is maximum security.