The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday afternoon that a 33 year old Yreka man who fled from a courtroom at Siskiyou County Superior Court earlier in the day had not yet been apprehended and “should be considered a dangerous person.”
Sheriff Jon Lopey states in a news release that a concerted effort by SCSO and Yreka Police Department officers to find David Wayne Caldwell Jr. continued for several hours after he escaped shortly before 9 a.m.
During the search, another Yreka man, 39 year old Michael Robert Thompson, was arrested after he attempted to flee when approached by SCSO units, according to the release. He was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant and for a misdemeanor charge of resisting, obstructing, and delaying a peace officer.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that Caldwell had been “remanded to custody by the presiding judge during an appearance in the Siskiyou County Superior Court when he fled the courtroom prior to being restrained by a court bailiff.”
Sheriff Lopey said later Friday that after Caldwell bolted, the two deputies downstairs at the courthouse were alerted by radio, but after Caldwell started down the stairs and saw them, he ran back up the stairs, down the hall and escaped out a side door.
Lopey said the door is not for public use but is sometimes used for bringing suspects into the courthouse. "It was a rare instance when we didn't have a peace officer in the hallway or waiting outside to testify in court," said the Sheriff.
A "Code Red" was broadcast to local residents, but leads failed to result in Caldwell’s apprehension, according to the Sheriff’s Office news release.
As described in the release, during the search for Caldwell, “at about 11:17 a.m., YPD units received reports of a man matching Caldwell’s description walking behind businesses located on Main Street north of Raymond Street near downtown Yreka. The suspect appeared to be evading contact and apprehension and ran towards the Interstate 5 freeway perimeter fence.
“Two SCSO units located the subject walking along the freeway side of the perimeter fence in a southbound direction. The suspect then began running along the fence line and when confronted by law enforcement he refused to stop as directed and vaulted the perimeter fence. He was advised that he was under arrest but refused to stop and was apprehended by a SCSO deputy with YPD assistance in the 200 block of Raymond Street.”
The fleeing man was identified as Michael Robert Thompson, who was transported to the Siskiyou County Jail and booked, pending a court appearance for the felony arrest warrant charges and for the resisting arrest charge, according to the release.
Sheriff Lopey states in the release, “The presiding judge of the Siskiyou Superior Court has issued a felony arrest warrant calling for Caldwell’s immediate arrest for the escape charges. We will find him. Anyone with any information about Mr. Caldwell’s whereabouts should contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900. Mr. Caldwell should be considered a dangerous person and if observed call 9-1-1 and do not attempt to contact him – leave that to law enforcement authorities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank YPD and other agencies assisting with the search effort, including CAL Fire law enforcement.”
-- The initial article posted Friday afternoon was updated later in the day with Sheriff Lopey's comments about how Caldwell got out of the courthouse.