William Evers, aka Redbeard, the fugitive who has been eluding capture for almost a year in the coastal woods outside of Albion and Comptche, was arrested without incident on Thursday a little before noon. Sheriff Kendall said a press release is pending. A combination of local tips and targeted surveillance finally allowed law enforcement to pinpoint Evers' location where he was taken into custody without injury, and without a struggle. Evers faces serious charges of attempted murder of a peace officer, burglary, breaking and entering and resisting arrest.
SOMEHOW I'd assumed Red Beard was inevitable, that our famous fugitive would stay out there forever, the man slowly becoming myth when he was no more. I also suspected that some old Albion outlaw, Captain Fathom or Beth Bosk or maybe even Pebs Trippett down on the deep south bank of the Navarro, had perhaps provided a winter home for Red Beard.
NOPE, he was apparently holed up in a kind of brush cave he'd fashioned for himself off Albion Ridge Road near an area old timers called the “donut shop.” The Sheriff's Department had done some impressive tracking of The Beard, which he apparently wasn't fully aware of. Combining electronic surveillance with sightings and numerous burglaries presumably committed by the Beard, deputies zeroed in on his location within a very small radius. Then, following tire tracks from Beard's bicycle, and moving stealthily today just before noon with a police dog down a barely discernible path, there he was with his trademark backpack stuffed with many pounds of his daily essentials. Sheriff Matt Kendall said this afternoon that “this guy runs like an Olympic athlete. Without his pack he might have even outrun the dog, and even with 60 or 70 pounds on his back he's very fast.” The Sheriff recalled an earlier encounter with Red Beard when, after allegedly snapping off a rifle round at pursuing deputies, the Beard, running blind in total darkness, hurdled a fence and easily outran the deputies chasing him.
BEARD did try to make one more dash from beneath the two deputies on top of him after he was initially subdued, but was quickly secured. The Sheriff said he didn't really resist arrest by fighting or curse his captors.
THE FAMOUS FUGITIVE apparently spent hours watching homes in the area, and when residents left he'd dart inside to re-supply, with his acquisition focus being alcohol. Residents of upper Albion were of course unnerved at the Beard's numerous break-ins and have welcomed his arrest.
THE BEARD HIMSELF, as he appears in this photograph, isn't exactly what you'd call the picture of remorse, but rather an indomitable kind of dude who, at least to us, lives up to the spirited figure we imagined him to be. The guy's got some charisma going for sure.
WE HOPE to interview The Beard about his survival skills and his life before, during and after his famous interlude, but I'm sure he'll get the usual questionable advice from his assigned public defender to not talk to the media. Which is often bad advice because, and taking Beard as an example, his side of his much discussed and widely followed Mendo adventure won't be known from his perspective unless he gets his story out there. Pre-trial publicity can only help. Beard! I know you'll see this. Please call the ava at 1-707-895-3016. We'll write it down exactly as you tell it.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE 11-04-2021 (from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office):
On 11-03-2021 at 9:16 AM a resident arrived at their home located in the 29000 block of Albion Ridge Road in Albion, California.
Upon arrival the resident noticed the presence of a person crouched down beside an outbuilding near their residence. The person, matching the physical description of William Evers, ran off into the wooded terrain prompting a telephone call to the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's Deputies responded and searched the area during the morning and late afternoon hours. During the late afternoon hours, Sheriff's Deputies encountered William Evers from a distance and he was able to successful elude apprehension because of the terrain.
On 11-04-2021 at 10:19 AM, three Sheriff's Deputies returned to the wooded area where they encountered Evers the previous day. The wooded area is part of the Salmon Creek Forest near a specific location commonly referred to as the "Doughnut Shop".
While searching approximately 300 yards downhill from the "Doughnut Shop" two Sheriff's Deputies encountered Evers who exited brushy terrain approximately eight feet away from them. Evers immediately noticed the presence of the Sheriff's Deputies and ran back into the brushy terrain from where he appeared.
The Sheriff's Deputies chased after Evers who was approximately 30 feet away running at a fast pace through the wooded terrain. One of the Sheriff's Deputies was a Sheriff's Office K9 Handler and deployed his partner "Takota" who gave chase.
Takota bit onto Evers' backpack and he kicked the dog which caused the dog to disengage momentarily. Takota was given verbal deployment commands and again gave chase to Evers, eventually knocking him to the ground with a bite to the lower leg.
Sheriff's Deputies reached Evers who was attempting to stand up to resume fleeing and wrestled him back onto the ground and into handcuffs. The foot chase lasted approximately 50 yards until Evers was restrained in handcuffs.
Evers subsequently attempted to stand and flee while sitting on the ground in handcuffs.
Evers was eventually escorted to a nearby patrol vehicle and placed into a Wrap leg restraint system due to his history of non-compliance and assaultive behavior.
Evers was transported to the Sheriff's Office Ukiah Station to meet with Mendocino County District Attorney Investigators, Sheriff's Office Detectives and to be medically cleared prior to being booked into the Mendocino County Jail.