Hilo escapee caught in Seattle


A 33-year-old inmate who escaped in July from a community-based correctional facility in Hilo has been nabbed in Seattle and returned to the Big Island.

Dallas Wesley Runyon pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree escape, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara ordered Runyon to appear for trial on Feb. 4 at 8:30 a.m.

Runyon, who told Big Island police his current hometown is Willow, Alaska, is in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Police reported that Runyon, who lived in Ka‘u, left Hale Nani Correctional Facility on July 21 without authorization. Runyon had been sentenced to a year in jail with all but 30 days suspended in September 2011 by a Kona Circuit Judge Elizabeth Strance for second-degree theft and copper theft, both Class C felonies. He was on HOPE probation, a program for high-risk probationers that requires daily check-ins and frequent drug tests.

The escape is a violation of Runyon’s probation and a hearing is set for Dec. 19 before Strance.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Runyon was arrested by police there for identity theft on Aug. 5 at the New Mexico city’s Greyhound bus station, but he was not brought back to Hawaii to face charges at that time.

Runyon was one of four Hale Nani inmates who fled from Hale Nani in a period of a month. The others, Ryan Jeffries-Hamar, Christopher B.K. Santos and Joshua Kalili, were all recaptured on the Big Island.

 

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