Sep 22, 2015 7:35 PM by News Staff
Authorities say a prisoner who escaped custody in Lassen County while being extradited to Arkansas received a ride from a man who mistakenly believed the escapee was a stranded motorist.
Eric Williamson escaped custody during a bathroom stop at the Bogard Rest Area on Highway 44 around 8 p.m. Sunday.
On Monday evening, a Lassen County man called the sheriff’s office to say he had just unknowingly given the escaped prisoner a ride.
The man said the encounter happened around 1 p.m. Monday. Williamson claimed his vehicle had broken down, so the man drove him back to the Bogard Rest Area and left him with a dollar for the pay phone.
The man told deputies he had no idea a prisoner was at large until he saw a local news story Monday night.
Williamson, who escaped despite being restrained with a wrist chain and handcuffs, had managed to shed the restraints, according to the sheriff’s office. The man also said Williamson was wearing a black t-shirt without sleeves and spoke with a southern accent.
Deputies returned to the Bogard rest area Monday night and again searched for Williamson, but again came up empty.
Williamson was being extradited from Oregon to Arkansas by Prisoner Transpiration Services, a private extradition company, to face charges of theft, possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and fleeing.
Anyone who sees Williamson is asked to call 911.
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