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Jackson police arrest Scott City fugitive still in cuffs

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

An agile suspect escaped from a Scott City police car Friday during a meth lab bust, only to be arrested two days later in Jackson, still wearing handcuffs.

Assistant Scott County prosecuting attorney Lora Cooper filed charges Tuesday against George Michael Cagle II, 32, of Scott City for burglary, attempt to manufacture methamphetamine, felony possession of chemicals, felony possession of ephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, felony possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use and resisting arrest.

According to the probable-cause statement filed by officer Gina Cook, the owner of some apartments at 1007 E. Second St. found what appeared to be meth production in progress in a vacant apartment there. He also told her that he had seen a man later identified as Cagle talking with a man and a woman who live in one of the other apartments at that address.

After getting the residents' permission to search their apartment, Cook found Cagle hiding under a cover in the closet and arrested him.

Scott City police chief Don Cobb said that, though handcuffed behind his back and seat-belted in, Cagle was agile enough to work his hands below his feet and around to the front. He then escaped from the locked police car.

"He did this while officer Cook was securing the meth lab," Cobb said. "When he was arrested later in Jackson, he still had the cuffs on. Only a small percentage of people are able to do that; in my 15 years I have only seen about three."

Help from deputies, sheriff

Because other Scott City officers were working simultaneous calls, it took about 10 minutes before Cook's backup arrived, Cobb said. Cook worked the scene by herself until backup arrived. In addition to backup officers, some off-duty city officers and deputies from the Scott County Sheriff's Department -- including Sheriff Rick Walter -- assisted in shutting the lab down, Cobb added.

"Scott County has never been a 24-hour department," Cobb said. "Now they work 24-7. No matter what happens, day or night, they are here. They have been wonderful."

Cobb said Cagle has warrants against him from Ste. Genevieve County for unlawful use of paraphernalia and attempt to manufacture methamphetaine. Those charges carry a $20,000 bond. He also has warrants from Cape Girardeau for failure to appear in court for improper registration and a warrant from Crestwood, Mo., for failure to appear for petty larceny. The Cape Girardeau charge has a bond of $250; Crestwood's bond is $450. A Scott County bond has not yet been set, and a court appearance is pending.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160


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