A Fort Payne man was jailed Friday on a string of charges after he led sheriff's deputies on a chase in a motorhome and then on foot in an incident that ended near the town of Ider in DeKalb County, Alabama.
It wasn't 42-year-old Billy Blake's first flight from police, according to a statement from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. Blake had been a fugitive after recently walking away from Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, department spokesman Tyler Pruett said in a statement issued Sunday.
Blake in that incident was admitted to the hospital "after he allegedly swallowed an unknown amount of suspected methamphetamine and had slipped into a coma," Pruett said. "He had just led Jackson and DeKalb County on a pursuit that ended near Rainsville."
Blake also has been charged previously with breaking into Henagar Junior High School where he allegedly stole $3,300 from the Beta Club's funds. Around the same time, he was charged with breaking into several Jackson County churches, Pruett said.
"After being released from jail after a short stay, Blake was caught again after breaking into multiple storage units in Fort Payne," Pruett said of that incident. "Before his apprehension [Friday] night, Blake had led Jackson County on several other chases."
The spokesman did not give exact dates of the offenses or incidents.
When he was arrested Friday, Blake had outstanding DeKalb County warrants for criminal mischief, attempting to elude police, third-degree assault, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment, Pruett said. Now, Blake faces two more counts of attempting to elude police and resisting arrest, and new charges of tampering with evidence, failure to register a vehicle and reckless driving.
"I'd like to thank our guys for working hard and getting this fugitive off the streets. Blake has stolen an untold amount of goods and money from citizens in two counties," DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said in the statement. "While it can be frustrating having to arrest suspects like Blake multiple times, we can only do our job as law enforcement and get them in custody. These guys do this job well."