What began with his dog’s barking Monday evening turned into quite a scene in front of the home of life-long Bend resident Isom Stevenson. A police traffic stop led to a Taser deployment and the arrest of a man who escaped from the Klamath County Jail while taking out the garbage late last week.
“My dog barked, and my wife told me someone was pulled over” near their NE Fourth Street home, Stevenson said.
He went outside and saw what looked like a typical traffic stop of a van with two people inside.
“It didn’t look like anything unusual,” Stevenson said – until the driver restarted the van and tried to drive off.
Then things happened fast, involving two officers on either side of the van.
“When the driver fired up the van, the officer on the passenger side yanked the passenger out, pulled his Taser and shot the Taser at the driver when he tried to put it in drive,” Stevenson said, adding that he was successful at first: “It was rolling a good four or five feet.”
Meanwhile, the officer on the driver’s side of the van reached in and threw the van back into park, Stevenson said, adding that he had his gun drawn.
“They said, ‘Don’t move!’” as they waited for a K-9 team to show up at the scene, the witness said.
Once they did, the officer on the driver’s side “yanked him out of the van through the back side door, flipped him over and handcuffed him,” Isom said.
Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said Bend police pulled the van over on a traffic violation around 6:30 p.m. and the driver at first gave false information to the officers. Bend police said they had run a stop sign.
Evinger said Bend police soon learned the driver was Kenneth Robert Banes, 25, an inmate worker who escaped from the Klamath County Jail grounds around 5 a.m. last Thursday while taking out the trash.
The sheriff said Bend police reported that Banes tried to flee and resisted arrest, prompting officers to use force to take him into custody. None was injured, Evinger added. There was no immediate word of the passenger's name or status.
Along with the Klamath County escape warrant, Banes was being held at the Deschutes County Jail on new charges of second-degree burglary, aggravated first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief, two counts of ID theft, attempting to elude a police vehicle and giving false information to police.
Klamath County authorities said Banes was being escorted into the Klamath County Jail yard to dump garbage as part of a work detail when he bolted and slipped through a hole in the fence. He said Banes is slender and that most inmates wouldn’t have fit through the hole.
A helicopter helped search for Banes after what Evinger said was the first successful jail escape there since 1989.
Later, Evinger said two women -- Banes’ mother, Kathleen Delaney, 46, and Syndahl McFarland, 21 – had been charged with helping him escape. Delaney was accused of bringing clothes for Banes to McFarland’s apartment before the escape. The sheriff said some jail clothing was found there.
Banes had been sentenced to three years in prison for several car thefts and burglaries. He was in jail for a parole violation.
In a news release announcing Banes’ capture, Evinger said, “This was great police work on behalf of Bend PD in getting Banes identified and back into custody.
"The entire law enforcement community, in Southern and Central Oregon, has demonstrated great partnership while searching and investigating the whereabouts of Banes with the Klamath County Sheriff's Office.”