Saturday, July 20

Wharton man escapes from police custody; remains at large

WHARTON, TEXAS, Feb. 8, 2024 – The Wharton Police Department announces that Waynard Austin, who was arrested at approximately 7:42 p.m. for seven felony warrants and possession of marijuana, has escaped custody while handcuffed. Despite an exhaustive search by law enforcement, Austin remains at large. He was last observed wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans, and white shoes.

Waynard Austin (WPD)

The public is urged to remain vigilant and report any sightings of Austin to 911 or submit tips anonymously at While Austin is currently considered a fugitive, the Wharton Police Department does not believe he poses a direct threat to public safety. However, the public is strongly advised against attempting to apprehend him.

The police also remind the community that harboring or aiding a fugitive is a punishable offense. Legal actions will be taken against anyone found assisting Austin, including family and friends.

Informants contributing valuable tips leading to Austin’s capture may be eligible for a cash reward. The notice comes in collaboration with the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office, Rosenberg Police, El Campo Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety – North Texas Region.


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