Fugitive's long run comes to an end up a tree

KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports

A fugitive's long run from the law ended with him up a tree and half-naked.

Police captured Curtis Cameron after a six-hour chase that saw him strip down to his underwear in an attempt to elude authorities.

Dressed only in disposable coveralls given to him by police, Curtis Cameron was finally brought to justice Monday evening. Police say he took off his clothes to throw search dogs off his scent. It worked for a while, but Cameron was finally arrested after evading some 40 law enforcement officers and a Border Patrol helicopter.

"Every time we're close to catching him, he gets away," said Skagit County Chief Deputy Chad Clark. "This feels good to get him. Our community will be safer."

Cameron's rap sheet dates back at least seven years. What started as a small-time burglar grew into explosives and weapons charges.

He is currently accused of attacking people at a party with Molotov cocktails and beating someone with a wrench.  At one point Cameron stole nearly $50,000 in equipment from a U.S. Forest Service facility.

Cameron finally did time in 2013, but police say as soon as he got out he was even more dangerous, stealing as many guns as he could find.

"He is prolific, and he has threatened to not go down without a fight," said Clark.

Police had been looking for Cameron for months, but the search intensified after he was spotted two weeks ago.

Well practiced in avoiding the law, police say Cameron jumped into a frigid river to avoid being seen by a Border Patrol helicopter. He ended up in some blackberry bushes. Police flushed him out with tear gas, after which he climbed a tree. Cold and nearly naked, he told a police negotiator he would surrender if they would give him something to cover his body.

"I think he was cold. I think he was embarrassed," said Clark.

Police suspect Cameron is responsible for about 40 other crimes in the area.

If convicted, Cameron is expected to serve at least a decade in prison.

 

© 2017 KING-TV


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