John Russell Love

John Russell Love

A man who was the subject of a search much of this week after escaping from Wilkesboro police officers by jumping into the Yadkin River early Tuesday morning was caught Friday morning at a residence on Old Highway 60 in the Antioch area, said Wilkesboro Police Chief Craig Garris.

Wilkesboro police officers and Wilkes Sheriff’s Office deputies apprehended John Russell Love, 37, of North Wilkesboro, about 7:30 a.m. Friday. Garris said information concerning Love's whereabouts had been received.

Love was still in the Wilkes County Jail Friday afternoon with a $35,000 secured bond, said Capt. Jason Whitley, Wilkes Sheriff’s Office jail administrator. A spokesman for Wilkes Superior Court said Love missed a court appearance Friday.

Love already had outstanding Wilkes Sheriff’s Office warrants for felony and misdemeanor breaking and entering and larceny and injury to real and personal property when he escaped from officers Tuesday morning. The Wilkesboro Police Department charged him with resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer as a result of the incident Tuesday morning.

Garris said Love bolted from a Lowes Motel room on Curtis Bridge Road soon after two Wilkesboro officers entered the motel room shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday while responding to a report of a disturbance at the motel.

He said Love ran across the motel parking lot, on toward the nearby Yadkin and jumped in the river a short distance upstream from the Curtis Bridge Road bridge over the river.

Garris said the officers saw the river current carry Love downstream and never saw him reach the other side of the Yadkin. The chief said that out of concern for Love’s well-being, Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro police officers searched for him Tuesday. Using a Wilkes Rescue Squad drone, the squad and the Wilkesboro Fire Department searched the Yadkin River later Tuesday.

On Wednesday, squad members and Wilkesboro firefighters searched the river using boats, going from the Curtis Bridge Road bridge to the Wilkesboro Boulevard bridge. A drone was also used again. Wilkesboro officers also searched out in the county Wednesday.

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