The polar vortex was too much for escaped convict Robert Vick to handle, as authorities in Kentucky say the frostbitten prisoner cited the cold weather for why he decided to turn himself in.
Robert Vick, 42, of Hartford, Ky., escaped from a minimum security prison in Lexington on Sunday, but when temperatures dipped into the low single digits on Monday, he walked into a motel and told the clerk to call police, authorities told the Associated Press.
After being checked out by paramedics, the escaped prisoner was returned to the Blackburn Correctional Complex, Lexington Police Department spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts told the AP.
"This was definitely of his own volition," she said. "It's cold out there, too cold to run around. I can understand why the suspect would turn himself in."
According to Kentucky television station LEX 18, Vick suffered frostbite and showed up freezing and shaking when he entered the Sunset Motel.
“He was ready to go back,” motel manager Maurice King told the station with a laugh. "He said can you call the law on me? And I kind of looked at him -- I thought he was crazy or something.”
But King wound up calling 911, although he thought the dispatcher was skeptical of his story.
“I don’t even think the dispatcher believed me,” he said.
Sunset Motel guest Victoria Fugate said Vick was shivering when the escaped prisoner knocked on her door asking for food.
“He’s frostbit, his toes and his fingers,” she said. "He was hungry -- the dude knocked on our door, we gave him a ham and cheese sandwich, we gave him some hot chocolate.”
Fugate said Vick was foolish for escaping in the cold weather.
"That was stupid , especially in the cold weather, yeah really stupid," she said.
Vick, who is serving a six-year prison sentence for burglary and criminal possession of a forged instrument, was treated for hypothermia Monday night by the Lexington Fire Department.
Vick would have been eligible for parole in March, prison officials told Lexington television station WTVQ.