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Man who fled RPD arrested in California

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A California man wanted by federal law enforcement after escaping from the Roswell Police Department in December has been arrested.

Austin Medford (Submitted Photo)

The U.S. Marshals Eastern District of California branch, with assistance from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol, located and arrested Austin Cyrus Medford, 23, at his parents’ home in Riverdale, California Wednesday without incident, said Juan Miranda, public information officer for the U.S. Marshals Service branch in southern New Mexico.

Miranda said the apprehension of Medford was a collaborative effort between the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Roswell Police Department, the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force and U.S. Marshals office in Roswell. He said information was found and developed by law enforcement in New Mexico and shared with U.S. Marshals in California.

Dianna Luce, District Attorney for New Mexico’s Fifth Judicial District, said her office will seek to have Medford extradited back to New Mexico, where he is charged with one count each of escape or attempt to escape from the custody of a peace officer and criminal damage to property under $1,000.

Medford and his brother Aaron, 20, also of Riverdale, were arrested and booked at the Chaves County Detention Center Nov. 17 on out-of-state fugitive warrants. Both men were wanted on charges of kidnapping, carjacking, making terrorist threats and robbery in connection with a Sept. 29 incident in California.

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Austin Medford escaped from police custody Nov. 18 at about 4:20 p.m. while he was at the Roswell Police Department at 128 West 2nd Street being questioned by a detective from California. When the interview concluded, Medford was escorted by an officer to the Department booking area where he was confined to a holding cell and handcuffed to a bench.

The officer, according to court documents filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court, then briefly left the booking area and when the officer returned, he found that Medford and the handcuffs the prisoner was wearing were gone.

Surveillance video from a camera in the booking area showed Medford exiting the Department through the exterior door of the booking room, which had sustained $400 worth of damage.

When it was discovered he was missing, a search of the area for Medford was conducted, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

The following day police received information that at noon on Nov. 19, Medford was seen crossing North Washington Avenue and heading west on the New Mexico Military Institute’s golf course.

Police that same day obtained footage from an unspecified location reportedly showing Medford wearing a red skirt and black top with a shirt or scarf wrapped around his head and carrying a pink purse.

Aaron Medford, who did not escape, presently remains held without bond and was among the roster of inmates Monday whose name appeared on the Detention Center’s Jail Population Summary Report.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301 or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.