The Wilkesboro Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in determining the well-being of a man with outstanding warrants who escaped apprehension by jumping into the Yadkin River early Tuesday morning.
Wilkesboro Police Chief Craig Garris said John Russell Love, 37, of North Wilkesboro, bolted from a Lowes Motel room on Curtis Bridge Road soon after two Wilkesboro officers entered the room.
Garris said Love ran across the motel parking lot, on to the nearby Yadkin and jumped in the river a short distance upstream from the Curtis Bridge Road bridge over the river, with the officers in pursuit, about 1:18 a.m. Tuesday. He was fully clothed.
The officers “saw the current carry him farther away (downstream) as he was trying to get across” the river, said the chief. “We feel like he made it to the other side of the river, but it’s inconclusive from the officer’s video” made by a camera worn by an officer.
“We are mainly concerned about his well-being. We’d like to hear from someone who knows he is okay,” said Garris, adding that anyone with this information is asked to call the police department at 336-667-7277.
Garris said searches on Tuesday and Wednesday didn’t turn up anything.
Wilkesboro officers searched for Love early Tuesday morning, with North Wilkesboro officers assisting on the north side of the Yadkin.
With assistance from 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 on Wednesday.
Garris said the two Wilkesboro officers went to Lowes Motel early Tuesday morning in response to a report of a disturbance there and ended up at the motel room occupied by Love and a female.
He said that in addition to having two outstanding warrants, Love is now charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
Garris described Love as a white male, weighing 150 pounds, 5’11” tall, with medium build and brown hair.