Charlotte authorities arrest man who escaped from magistrate’s office

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 29, 2014

Mecklenburg County authorities have arrested a Rowan County man who escaped a month ago from the Rowan County magistrate’s office.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested Jameel Stephens-Maddox early Friday morning.
Stephens-Maddox, 21, is being held under a $7,000 secured bond for fleeing to elude arrest, assault on a female and two counts of resist, obstruct, delay an officer.
He was brought back to Rowan County Friday around 4 p.m. and booked into the Rowan County Detention Center.
It all began when deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Park Avenue home on July 9 to serve outstanding warrants on Stephens-Maddox. He ran out the back door, but was caught a short time later at a home at Longview Avenue.
Stephens-Maddox was taken to the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office and handcuffed to a metal bar in the prisoner holding area while deputies worked with the magistrate to complete paperwork.
While the deputies were distracted, Stephens-Maddox was able to work his way out of the handcuffs. Once free from the handcuffs, he ran out the door, jumped onto a patrol vehicle parked in the fenced-in area of the magistrate’s office and got over the razor wire above the fence.
Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies and Salisbury Police officers were alerted and immediately began searching the area around the Magistrate’s Office for Stephens-Maddox.
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials said they received information that Stephens-Maddox was inside a Sharview Circle home at 7:25 a.m., a press release said.
Steele Creek Division officers, along with members of the SWAT Team, surrounded the residence and were able to establish contact with Stephens-Maddox and convinced him to surrender peacefully without incident, the statement said.
Stephens-Maddox was then transferred to the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, where he remained until he was picked up by Rowan authorities.
When asked why he escaped from the magistrate’s office, Stephens-Maddox began telling reporters he felt he was falsely imprisoned, but shortly after admitted to the offense.
“OK, when you feel like you’re being falsely imprisoned for something that you did not do and you’re going to have to wait on the whole court process and when your life is on the line, I mean I will plead guilty,” he said as detectives led him into the jail.
“It was now or never. I didn’t mean no harm, I just wanted to get away,” Stephens-Maddox said.
The escape of Stephens-Maddox prompted officials to install new razor wire fencing at the magistrate’s office five days after his escape.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.