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Police apprehend escaped inmate on Lumber St.


Submitted Photo

Jacob Sturgeon

Petersburg Police apprehended Jacob Sturgeon Friday afternoon, Feb. 12, after he escaped custody earlier that morning.

Sturgeon was arrested earlier this month on a charge of domestic violence assault.

During that investigation Sturgeon fled from PPD Officer John Dodson after the officer approached the suspect in the backroom of a residence on Lumber Street.

"After Officer Dodson advised Sturgeon that he was under arrest, Officer Dodson took hold of his arm and told him to standup," charging documents state. "Sturgeon popped off the bed and shoved Officer Dodson down, causing Officer Dodson pain and discomfort. Sturgeon ran through the residence and Officer Dodson gave chase, ordering him several times to stop and advising him that he was under arrest."

The report goes on to state that Sturgeon ran through two other locations on Lumber Street and then through a wooded area.

"Officer Dodson gave chase on foot, but discontinued chasing him in the woods for safety reasons," the documents state.

Sturgeon was charged with resisting arrest, assault in the 4th degree and two counts of misconduct involving weapons in the 5th degree after police found a revolver Sturgeon had discarded during the chase, which Dodson was never informed Sturgeon had on him.

Sturgeon was later apprehended and held in the Petersburg jail.

Friday morning, after appearing in court telephonically, he fled the Petersburg jail.

"Sturgeon was ordered several times by an officer to stop, and an attempt to stop...with a taser was unsuccessful," charging documents state.

The documents don't state the circumstances of the escape.

Petersburg Police Chief Kelly Swihart said the dispatch area where Sturgeon initially fled is an unsecured area.

"It's an old facility that's not laid out well and he was just able to run out the back door," Swihart said.

The Petersburg Community Center and schools were placed on lockdown after his escape and police apprehended Sturgeon, who was holding a gravity knife, around 3:45 p.m. the same day in a shed behind a residence on Lumber Street.

He's facing three new charges including escape in the 2nd degree and misconduct involving weapons in the 5th degree.

In an emailed statement Giesbrecht echoed Swihart, citing the jail facility as factor in the escape. He also wrote it's too soon to make a judgement as to whether or not inmate transfer or movement procedures will be changed. 

"It is, however, very clear the current inadequacies of the Police Building came into play in the recent event, and the new building design would have kept this event from occurring," Giesbrecht wrote. 

He also wrote the officer involved in the incident followed existing standards and did nothing that hasn't been done "hundreds of times before."  

"This prisoner chose to attempt an escape, and as witnessed in facilities all over the world, it is not always possible to stop someone from evading custody if they try hard enough to escape," Giesbrecht wrote. 

In his statement, Giesbrecht wrote that a review of the

incident is currently being


"People think it's a big deal," Swihart said. "It has happened a couple times in the past but it's really not some big drawn

out deal."

Prosecutor Chris Orman urged the local police to refrain from further comment on the case.


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