Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Man who has been on the run for 3 years is captured after calling 911 for help because he was bitten by a snake

An Idaho fugitive who has been on the run for three years was captured in Oregon last week after calling 911 to report that he had been bitten by a rattlesnake. 

Just before 7pm on Thursday, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a man saying he was lost in the Hells Canyon area, was on foot, and had been bitten by a rattlesnake, according to a press release from the agency. 

The caller gave the emergency dispatcher a false name, but he was later identified as 33-year-old Ryan Henry and was determined to have a felony warrant out of Idaho.

As the Baker County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team was preparing to be dispatched, it was decided to scrap the rescue mission based on Henry's criminal history. 

Instead, Baker County Sheriff Travis Ash, six deputies and a US Forest Service law enforcement officer responded to Hewitt Park in the Richland area. Two boats were also launched in the Snake River and began searching for Henry.

Just after 10pm that evening, the search party tracked down Henry on the shores of Brownlee Reservoir. He was assessed by paramedics and then transported to the Baker County Jail. 

Sheriff's department spokesperson Ashley McClay said that Henry showed no signs or symptoms of being bitten by a rattlesnake. 

He remained behind bars as of Monday evening on a parole violation warrant out of Idaho related to drug charges.  

According to past reporting, authorities in Idaho were looking for Henry in 2017 after he was granted permission to leave Payette County Jail to attend a funeral in Vale, Oregon. 

The memorial was scheduled for August 12, 2017, and Henry was supposed to return to jail that same day, but he never made it back.

Henry was being held at the time for violating his probation in a felony drug possession case. He will likely face a felony escape charge for going on the run.