Infrared Drone Used To Arrest Fleeing Suspect In Ellensburg
A Yakima man is in jail after police say he absconded during an attempt to arrest him Wednesday night.
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says the incident occurred around 11 p.m. in Ellensburg when officers encountered the 42-year-old and discovered he was wanted for numerous felony warrants and for violating a domestic violence protection order.
Sheriff's Inspector Christopher Whitsett says when officers tried to arrest the man, he fled.
"The guy took off and ran across the street where he threw himself into an area made up of brushy ditches and a pond in a fairly-open area of West Ellensburg."
After the man disappeared, Whitsett says the sheriff's office worked quickly to deploy a drone equipped with a highly-sensitive infrared camera that was able to locate him.
"After about forty-five minutes of searching the officers called out to the man that he'd been detected by the drone. At that point, we believe this man had become very, very cold since he was shivering pretty badly. He crawled out from hiding and surrendered peacefully."
The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to an area hospital for a medical evaluation before being booked into the Kittitas County Jail on numerous charges.
Whitsett says the sheriff's office has had a drone program for roughly eight years, but the device used to apprehend this suspect is new to the agency. He added that the use of drones has led to the capture of multiple suspects since the program's inception in 2016.
The Ellensburg Police Department and the Washington State Patrol also assisted in apprehending the suspect.
Boise Tour By Drone
Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews