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Fugitive nabbed in Gloucester

Desean Montrese Byrd

by Tom Chillemi

A 23-year-old Urbanna man who allegedly broke into an Urbanna house on Friday, June 7, while free on a personal recognizance bond is now behind bars.

Desean Montrese Byrd was arrested Tuesday, June 11, by the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office, reported Major M.E. Sampson of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. As of Wednesday morning, Byrd was being held without bond.

Major Sampson said the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office had alerted surrounding jurisdictions that Byrd was a fugitive who had slipped through a police manhunt just outside of Urbanna on Friday.

Byrd was arrested by Gloucester deputies following a domestic dispute call, Major Sampson explained. Byrd had left the scene, but family members told the deputies Byrd was a fugitive. Diligent deputies returned to the residence several times and eventually arrested Byrd there at about 9 p.m., said Major Sampson.

Byrd was previously arrested on May 30 and charged with 2 felonies, but was released on a personal recognizance bond, according to Middlesex General District Court records. This type of bond did not require Byrd to put up any money.

The next day, on May 31, Byrd was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, and again was released, this time on a summons, according to court records.

Court records also show Byrd owes $1,003 in fines and court costs that are marked “past due.”

On Friday, June 7, just before 2 p.m., a neighbor allegedly saw Byrd breaking into a house on Cross Street in Urbanna, said Major Sampson. As the neighbor’s wife called police, the neighbor chased Byrd.

Within 10 minutes of the original call, more than six sheriff’s officers responded to Urbanna, said Major Sampson.

A second person called police and reported the suspect was wearing black pants and a black shirt.

From citizen calls, police determined that Byrd was on foot heading out of Urbanna to the west. He was spotted in the area of Bonner Street, which is near the town pool and leads to a wooded area on the west side of town.

Sheriff David Bushey requested tracking dogs from multiple jurisdictions. Eventually, at about 5 p.m. a tracking dog and handler from the Virginia State Police arrived. 

The dog, his handler and Sheriff Bushey went into the woods at the point where the suspect had been seen. The dog searched for 2 hours but could not pick up a scent, in part due to the rainy weather, said Major Sampson. Over 6 inches of rain soaked the area Friday.

Police searched for the suspect for about 5 hours. While the search was in progress, Detective K.P. Carmell obtained warrants for Byrd, charging him with felony breaking and entering of a dwelling during the daytime, and a misdemeanor for destruction of property.

Late Friday and again on Saturday, Det. Carmell put up wanted posters and released information on the suspect. Byrd had been living at a Parkview Avenue residence in Urbanna.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 06.12.2013

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