Pantego man escapes custody following arrest

Published 1:57 pm Sunday, March 11, 2007

By By CHRISTINA HALE, Staff Writer
A Hispanic man from Pantego escaped from custody Friday night after being arrested on N.C. Highway 99 North and charged with driving while impaired.
Jose J. Jarcia, 39, of 5816 N.C. Highway 99 North, Pantego, was later found a mile and half away, hiding in a car parked behind his residence, said Sgt. C.L. Johnston with the N.C. Highway Patrol Office in Washington.
Jarcia was charged with driving while impaired, driving without a license, careless and reckless driving and resisting arrest, Johnston said.
Jarcia was going 76 mph in a 55 mph zone, Johnston said. He didn’t have identification. When asked about Jarcia’s alcohol level, Johnston said he refused testing.
Jarcia was initially arrested by Trooper Cameron Swindell shortly after 8 p.m. and placed in the front seat of Swindell’s patrol car with his hands handcuffed behind his back and the seat belt strapped over him, Johnston said. “While Swindell was moving Jarcia’s car out of the roadway, he got out and ran,” he said.
Johnston said patrol cars are not equipped with cages in the back. “You can’t put someone in the back and lock them in,” he said.
Swindell reported the escape and law enforcement officials with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. Highway Patrol and the Plymouth Police Department assisted in tracking Jarcia.
Troopers went to the highway 99 address the car was registered under and spoke with a Hispanic woman at the home, Johnston said. “We don’t believe she knew he was hiding in a junk car in the backyard where he stayed,” he said. The troopers located Jarcia in the car around 10 p.m.
Johnston said, “he was still handcuff behind his back, soaking wet and covered in mud. He had gone through the swamp back there. He didn’t resist.”
Jarcia was released Saturday after posting a $500 bond, said a spokeswoman with the Beaufort County Detention Center.