MERCED, California. (KSEE) – 45-year-old Charlie Everitt was arrested in Oklahoma two weeks after authorities say he escaped the John Latorraca Correctional Facility.
“We worked relatively quickly,” said Bartlesville Police Detective Denver Millard. “From the time it was reported and we got wind of it, it was in an hour and a half that we had him arrested.”
Everitt escaped the facility on April 26th. Officials said Everitt, who is accused of killing two people in a suspected DUI crash, smashed through the jail walls and fence before taking off.
On May 14th, an unidentified man walked into the Bartlesville Police Department claiming that Everitt was in a home within the town.
“He knew that he was of high interest,” said Merced Undersheriff Corey Gibson. “He knows that investigators were tracking his whereabouts so I think he was trying to get as far away from Central California as he could.”
Millard said the tip was verified and a SWAT team surrounded the house and arrested Everitt within an hour and a half.
“In this case, we knew the severity of it,” said Millard. “We knew how hard the US Marshal’s Office and Merced County had been working on apprehending this suspect. So we worked very quickly.”
Everitt is still waiting to get transferred back to Merced County.
Back in January, six inmates escaped the main Merced County Jail in downtown.
Officials said the inmates used a homemade rope to scale down a wall from the jail’s roof. Four of them have been found but two are still on the loose.
Gibson blamed the outdated facilities for the security issues and said renovation needs to be a priority going forward.
“I think it starts with public safety infrastructure especially around these two correction centers,” said Gibson. “It also deals with staffing but the county as a whole has several challenges. So we just need to prioritize that as a community.”
The state did award the county $40 million to update the John Latorraca Correctional Center, which was originally used as an agriculture center. However, Gibson said the construction won’t start for at least a year.