Talk about the long arm of the law, a judge in Washington State put the words into action when he chased down two suspects who bolted from his courtroom.
Lewis County District Court Judge R.W. Buzzard was captured on surveillance video giving chase when two inmates being led back to jail bolted for a door to the hallway, KOMO reported.
The corrections deputy had two other inmates in his custody and he stayed with them, prompting Buzzard to leap into action.
Stripping his robe, the judge ran after the handcuffed inmates.
“I was shocked at first,” I didn’t know what to think,” Buzzard told KOMO.
“By the time they hit the door, I’m like ‘there’s nobody between them and the street.’ So I wanted at least to find out where they were going,” he added.
Much of the pursuit was captured by cameras throughout the building, and the hero judge was able to nab one of the two, Kodey Howard, by the time they reached a door at the bottom of a stairwell that lead outside — to freedom.
“Once I got to the stairwell I knew I was going to be able to catch the one that was just in front of me because I immediately started gaining on him,” the judge said. “I was yelling at them all the way down the stairs to ‘stop, you’re making things worse.’”
Howard did not have a good go at his escape attempt, having did a face-plant earlier and losing a shoe.
The other inmate, Tanner Jacobson, was arrested a few blocks away.
Turns out, there’s a reason Buzzard lost the robe: experience.
“In April I had the unfortunate circumstance of having to wrestle a litigant to the floor who had attacked an attorney,” he explained. “I found out at that time that grappling in a robe is very restrictive. I couldn’t imagine what running down the stairs and being in a robe, so I got it off as soon as I could and went after him.”