CLINTON — A 19-year-old who eluded police for more two days was captured late Thursday night.

Timothy James Ezell, 15 Diamond Ave., was arrested in a wooded area about 25 minutes after Clinton police received a tip from a caller, Chief Craig Johnson said. He is being held without bail at Kennebec County Jail.

Johnson said he and one of his officers were out searching for Ezell Thursday when they received the call. At the time, they were just a short distance away from Ezell’s location.

“It was just a stroke of luck we were so close,” Johnson said.

Police called in assistance from Maine State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. A K-9 team from the sheriff’s office found Ezell in the Clinton woods a short time later.

“He didn’t resist arrest,” Johnson said. “Once the dog was near him, that was it. It was over.”

Ezell was the subject of an intense two-day search, after he escaped through the rear window of a parked police cruiser Tuesday night in Winslow. Officers from Clinton, Waterville and Winslow spent three hours looking for Ezell in nearby fields, roads and along the Kennebec River. The search also include a K-9 team from the sheriff’s office.

The next afternoon, police picked up the search again when more than 10 officers from five agencies checked on tips throughout Clinton. Police worked into early morning Thursday to no avail.

On Wednesday police recovered a car in Clinton that had been reported stolen from Winslow, just hours after Ezell eluded police. It was undamaged, the keys were inside and it was returned to its owner. Johnson said Ezell is suspected of that crime. Partial fingerprints and potential DNA evidence from the car are at the state crime lab for analysis.

Shortly before the Tuesday escape, Ezell was arrested about 7 p.m. after a witness reported a car burglary on Long Avenue, Johnson said. Two Clinton police officers, one of whom is an officer in training, drove Ezell to the Winslow police station for processing and, while the officers were inside, Ezell escaped by opening a rear window of the 2011 Crown Victoria where he was detained.

Johnson said the window controls in the cruiser were operable at the time of the escape. Ezell was handcuffed at the time, but slipped out of them.

After his capture, Ezell was charged with escape and violating conditions of release, Johnson said. Before escaping Tuesday, Ezell was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, violating conditions of release and consuming liquor as a minor.

Ezell eluded police once before, albeit briefly.

On Sept. 30, Ezell was arrested after he stole a car, drove it while drunk, crashed, tried to steal another car and then dropped 30 feet from a bridge into the Kennebec River while fleeing from police. He was arrested a few minutes later when he swam to shore. He later pleaded guilty to a several charges including burglary.

Earlier that same month, Ezell was convicted on an assault charge, fined $300 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. He was also convicted of charges including theft in two separate incidents in April 2011.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239
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