Woman in cuffs escapes bailiff, is recaptured

August 13, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

A woman wanted on a felony warrant was taken into custody after she appeared in court Monday on unrelated charges, but not before she got out of the car that was to take her to jail and ran in handcuffs down Queen Street, according to police.

The incident began Monday afternoon when Karen R. Young, 33, came to Berkeley County Magistrate Court on John Street for her hearing on charges of fleeing from an officer and obstructing police, both misdemeanor charges that were filed in June.

When a clerk punched Young's name into the computer system, she realized that two weeks earlier, police had issued a warrant for Young's arrest, charging that she failed to appear in court on one count of grand larceny auto. The warrant was active, meaning police had not yet arrested Young.


After bailiffs learned of the active warrant and handcuffed Young Monday, she was placed in a car to be taken to Eastern Regional Jail, said Chief Deputy Kenneth LeMaster of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

As the bailiffs walked around the car, Young got out and ran one block to the intersection of King and Queen streets, LeMaster said. That intersection is where Martinsburg's two main thoroughfares connect.

Cpl. Gary Harmison and a bailiff caught Young at the intersection, LeMaster said.

Bailiffs have the authority to do routine transports to the jail, LeMaster said. LeMaster said he was not sure whether bailiffs locked the door after placing Young in the car.

He said if they did not, it must have been because Young did not act as if she intended to flee.

"I don't think there was any neglect or anything," he said.

The misdemeanor charges for which Young came to court Monday stemmed from allegations that on June 2, she banged on a woman's door on South Raleigh Street, trying to get some items she claimed belonged to her, according to court records. The woman inside called police, records show.

When Martinsburg Police Department Cpl. John Sherman arrived, Young gave him a fake name and said she was 17, not 33 years old, Sherman alleged in court records.

Young then got into a blue Chevrolet Cavalier, and left despite three commands to stay, Sherman said. Police pursued her, but were unable to find her, Sherman said.

A day later, on June 3, a Martinsburg man told police that Young was staying with him and had stolen his rented Cavalier, according to allegations in court records. Young was charged in absentia with grand larceny and the two misdemeanors.

Young, who now reportedly lives in Baltimore, was arrested there on July 1 as she drove the Cavalier. Baltimore police officers learned the car was reported stolen and seized it.

Young was returned to Martinsburg and arraigned on all three charges July 12. She was free on $17,500 bail when she fled from the bailiffs.

She remained in jail Monday night on $20,000 bail.

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