Kilgore police are searching for a man they say escaped custody in handcuffs during an overnight traffic stop.

Officers arrested James Collie Butler III, 30, during a traffic stop at Green Hills Drive and Higginbotham Road, but he “was able to slip the handcuffs to his front and fled on foot,” according to Kilgore police.

Kilgore police said at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday that officers are patrolling the area of Creekside Trail. Police previously asked residents to avoid the area of the trail between Houston Street and Stone Road, but later said they believe the area is safe, though they will have an increased presence with “marked and unmarked police vehicles.”

Butler, who police said has several felony warrants, is described as being 5-feet, 10-inches tall and weighing 175 lbs. He was last seen wearing a white Polo shirt, jeans and black shoes. Police believe he is still wearing handcuffs.

Officers searched the area with a K-9 and a drone. Kilgore police Chief Todd Hunter requested a K-9 bloodhound to help with the search.

Anyone with information about Butler is asked to contact Kilgore police at (903) 983-1559, option 1. Police say residents should not contact Butler.

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