Police say a Juneau man is being charged with felony escape after he fled from the Juneau Adult Probation office Friday morning, prompting police officers to chase him on foot.
Justin J. Cameron, 24, was caught about an hour later around 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Driftwood Hotel on Willoughby Avenue.
“They told him he was being remanded for a probation violation, and he didn’t want to go back to Lemon Creek (Correctional Center),” Juneau Police Department Sgt. David Campbell said by phone. “... He chose to run.”
Cameron, who was in custody for a probation violation for a drug and weapons misconduct charge, had pushed and shoved his way past a probation officer and fled on foot. JPD received the call at 9:26 a.m. The probation office is located downtown at the Second and Seward Street intersection. Four JPD officers and a JPD community service officer responded, and began to search for him.
Responding officers split up to patrol different areas downtown, and after nearly an hour without a lead, the community service officer spotted Cameron from her car on the third floor of the city parking garage on Main Street at 10:21 a.m.
Community service officers are civilians that are unarmed and do not have police powers, but drive marked JPD vehicles, use the police radio system and wear white uniform shirts.
“She saw him, and as soon as he saw her is when he starting running again,” Campbell said.
As the community service officer radioed police, Cameron jumped over a short concrete wall barrier in the parking garage and ran toward the State Office Building then toward Willoughby Avenue.
Officer Tommy Penrose picked up his location, and found him in the parking lot of Bullwinkle’s Pizza Parlor. Penrose chased him through the parking lot past Centennial Hall and the Zach Gordon Youth Center to the Driftwood Hotel at 435 Willoughby Avenue.
Penrose arrested Cameron in the parking lot at 10:25 a.m. as the other officers were cordoning off the perimeter.
“You can’t outrun the radio,” Campbell said. “There’s typically more of us than there are people running.”
Cameron was taken to LCCC without bail for the probation violation on the original charge of third-degree misconduct involving controlled substances and fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons, the statement said.
Campbell said charges are pending for second-degree escape, a class ‘B’ felony charge, and have been forwarded to the District Attorney’s office.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org