Heroic judge strips off robe and chases two inmates trying to escape custody
The inmates, identified as 22-year-old Tanner D Jacobson and 28-year-old Kodey L Howard, were later caught and slapped with an additional felony charge of second-degree escape
A video of a judge chasing down two inmates fleeing a courtroom in Washington has gone viral on social media. The security footage from the courthouse shows Judge RW Buzzard throwing his robe and dashing after the two inmates on Tuesday afternoon as they attempt to run away from the building.
The judge, in the end, succeeds in grabbing hold of one of the escapee just as he was about to exit the building. Reports state that the other escapee was also apprehended by authorities a few blocks away from the building.
The inmates, identified as 22-year-old Tanner D Jacobson and 28-year-old Kodey L Howard, were later slapped with an additional felony charge of second-degree escape, according to The Chronicle. Reports state that Howards was recently placed on a $50,000 cash bond and Jacobson on a $100,000 cash bond.
Two inmates run from a Washington courtroom, judge strips off robe and chases them down, on cam https://t.co/kiCF0aBehT— KSLA News 12 (@KSLA) October 24, 2018
The surveillance footage released by the courthouse shows four inmates being escorted out of the courthouse by a deputy who is out of frame. Howards and Jacobson are last in line to be escorted out, however, instead of walking through an exit to the right of the judge, they turn and run through the public door at the back of the room. Buzzards, seeing the inmates flee, jumps into action, sheds his black robe and runs after the duo.
The cameras placed on each floor of the stairwell shows Buzzard closing in on Howard and grabbing him as he was about to go through an open emergency exit.
Sheriff Rob Snaza, while talking about the incident, said: "These things don’t happen very often. They’re few and far between," adding that this is the second such incident in the last couple of years that he is aware of. He also said that the only deputy present in the courtroom did not chase the two inmates because he had two other inmates in his care.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, while talking to the news outlet, said that additional armed guards are required to stand outside the courtrooms in an effort to avoid such incidents.
"Because, quite frankly, I don’t like it when judges are jumping over the bench to chase people down because that’s not what they’re trained to do," Meyer said.