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Handcuffed man flees custody, is caught riding bike, police say


For the second time in less than three weeks, Howard County police were forced to use a helicopter and K-9 units to try to capture a suspect who had escaped from custody.

Police had arrested David Batiste Gray, 19, in the Midway Trailer Park at 6800 block of Midway Ave. in North Laurel about 4 p.m. Monday and accused him of assault. Gray was taken to the Southern District station in Scaggsville for booking. On arrival, Gray, who was handcuffed, broke free from officers and ran across U.S. 29 into a construction zone, said Cpl. Paul Yodzie, a spokesman for the county Police Department.

"When the suspect escaped, we set up a perimeter around the construction site with a helicopter and dogs for 2 1/2 hours, but he wasn't located," Yodzie said yesterday.

Gray was captured less than six hours after his escape when police patrol officers saw him crossing U.S. 29 - riding a stolen bicycle and still wearing handcuffs, Yodzie said. He was arrested at U.S. 29 near Johns Hopkins Road.

Gray was transferred to the court commissioner's office yesterday and charged with assault and escape.

On Aug. 19, Thomas Rudolph Jordan, 37, a suspect in a robbery of Triangle Auto Parts in Columbia, escaped from a window at the courthouse in Ellicott City after his bond hearing.

Jordan was not in the custody of Howard police at the time but was being transferred by Wackenhut Securities, the company that transfers suspects to the Northern District station in Ellicott City for bail hearings.

The police units were deployed quickly, and Jordan was captured about 20 minutes later near the courthouse, police said.

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