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Military police capture Benning soldier who escaped

William Parker was on his way Friday morning to four months’ confinement at Fort Knox when the men escorting him stopped at McDonald’s to eat, officials said.

Moments later, the 24-year-old private had escaped.

After being captured Saturday morning at Martin Army Community Hospital, Parker was successfully transported to Fort Knox in Kentucky, where he will serve his sentence for attempted pandering and possessing an unregistered firearm, said Monica Manganaro, public affairs officer with Fort Benning.

“He will not return to Fort Benning,” she said. “He will be discharged from the Army.”

Parker, formerly a specialist with the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was convicted at a court-martial on March 23. He was given a bad-conduct discharge, demoted to the rank of private and sentenced to four months’ incarceration, Manganaro said.

Around 9:30 a.m. Friday, Parker and the two men escorting him to Fort Knox stopped at McDonald’s on 3315 Macon Road. Parker left the restaurant at some point.

Manganaro said the circumstances of his disappearance are being investigated.

The escorts flagged down a Columbus police officer after Parker fled, reports said. Parker’s description was broadcast at 10:25 a.m.

“He was picked up by the military police,” Manganaro said of Parker’s Saturday capture.

Manganaro said she didn’t know of any additional charges Parker might face.