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Suspect who slithered out of patrol car window stayed stuck in cuffs 2 days, cops say

Deputies located Clarence Jackson Crutchfield, 50, at a home in Denver, N.C. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo.
Deputies located Clarence Jackson Crutchfield, 50, at a home in Denver, N.C. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo.

The North Carolina man who made headlines on Sunday for allegedly slithering out the back window of a deputy’s patrol car apparently had less luck getting out of his handcuffs, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Clarence Jackson Crutchfield was still wearing cuffs as bracelets when deputies tracked him down two days later at a Lincoln County home, 30 miles northwest of Charlotte, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

However, he did manage to cut the chain linking the cuffs, the release said.

Crutchfield, 50, was found Tuesday afternoon at a home in the small town of Denver, near Lake Norman, deputies said. Details of his capture were not released, but the police press release said he did not put up a fight.

The home where he was captured Tuesday is about four miles west of where Crutchfield was arrested Sunday, at the scene of a breaking and entering in the 4200 block of Burnwood Trail. Crutchfield was found in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with two other people, and no one in the car had a valid driver’s license, said a release.

“When deputies checked Crutchfield through the Lincoln County Communications Center it was discovered that he had multiple felony warrants,” said a release.

“He was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car....When (the deputy) returned to his patrol car, the rear window was down and the prisoner gone,” said a release.

Crutchfield is charged with felony breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretenses, and three counts of possession of stolen goods, said a sheriff’s office release.

He was also charged with injury to personal property in connection with the escape, said a release.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.
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