Work crew escapee apprehended after two hours on the run

An escapee from work crew had the San Juan Islands' police scanners buzzing for several hours Monday.

A 22-year-old Orcas Island man fled his work crew on Aug. 12 around 2 p.m., in Friday Harbor.

Work crew is an alternative sentencing program designed to reduce jail overcrowding by providing minimum risk offenders a work option to meet court obligations to include: fines, program fees, community service, and jail sentences.

The 22-year-old was initially arrested on an outstanding warrant and resisting arrest.

According to Undersheriff Bruce Distler, the man was left alone for two or three minutes and in that time ran onto the inter-island ferry boat around 2:10 p.m. Distler guesses that the man was catching the boat headed for Orcas.

After the supervisor checked the bathrooms and did not find the 22-year-old male, he called the police.

The man was back in custody at 4 p.m.

Distler said the “escape” was a first in his 20-year law enforcement career.

— Cali Bagby, Islands' Sounder reporter


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