Escapee’s swim from jail cut short

A man who dashed out of the Kitsap County Courthouse on Friday trying to skip out on $100,000 of misdemeanor warrants and swim to freedom was fished out of Sinclair Inlet and returned to jail with a felony drug charge and another $100,000 bond for his troubles.

Michael Angelo Holcomb, 34, of Aberdeen, arrived at Kitsap County District Court shortly before noon April 23 to turn himself in on five $20,000 warrants — four for domestic violence assaults and one for drug possession — and request a court hearing.

But rather than quashing the warrants and setting a later date for Holcomb to return, the court ordered the defendant into custody and summoned a sheriff’s corrections officer to escort him to Kitsap County Jail.

Before the officer could put Holcomb in handcuffs, however, he allegedly dashed out of the courthouse and ran down Cline Street toward the Sinclair Inlet Marina, said Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend.

“(Holcomb) sees law enforcement and decides to run,” Townsend said, explaining that, although the moment the escapee left the courthouse he was technically POPD’s problem, corrections officers chased Holcomb down the hill and worked with his police officers to eventually net the suspect.

Townsend said an alert citizen also assisted the officers, pointing them to where Holcomb was huddled in the mud near the shore. Once spotted, Holcomb jumped into the water, Townsend said, where splashes and later large puddles made him easy to track.

“He was hiding underneath one of the floats,” Townsend said, explaining that wet footprints identified exactly which dock Holomb had chosen to hide under. When Holcomb was located and still refused to surrender, officers removed a large piece of concrete and pulled him up through the hole.

Townsend said a Puget Sound Naval Shipyard security boat quickly responded to the scene, and there was little chance Holcomb could have gotten very far.

“He was a stupid criminal,” Townsend said, explaining that officers also allegedly found 12 grams — “the size of a ping-pong ball” — of methamphetamine on Holcomb.

After being transported to Harrison Memorial Hospital for treatment of possible hypothermia, Holcomb was booked into Kitsap County Jail for all five previous warrants, along with one count of second-degree escape and one count of drug possession with intent to deliver.

His bail was set at $200,000.

At his arraignment Monday, Holcomb was charged with one count of methamphetamine possession, a felony carrying a possible five-year prison sentence, and one count of third-degree escape, a misdemeanor.

According to spokesman Scott Wilson from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Holcomb lives in Aberdeen but is frequently seen in Kingston, where a woman known to be his ex-girlfriend lives.

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