Danyashi Wood captured

Published 5:12 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. – Bertie County law enforcement officers have been promising it would happen.

Wednesday night it did.

Danyashi Wood was arrested in Richmond, Va. and will eventually return to Bertie County where he will face numerous charges after his escape last summer from the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail.

“We are extremely pleased to have him in custody,” said Bertie County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman, who led the investigation after Wood escaped from confinement in July of 2008. “We have said from the outset that we would continue to work this case until he was back in custody and we’re happy to have reached that end.”

Wood was captured in the Virginia state capital after a tip was given to an official with the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re happy any time we can contribute to bringing a fugitive to justice,” said Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan. “Major Tim Lassiter received a tip and was able to pass it along and we’re pleased that the result was an arrest.”

The information received by Lassiter was relayed to Jimmy Barmer, a reserve officer with the Aulander Police Department, and to Pittman.

Barmer contacted the officer who arrested Wood in Richmond when he previously fled to that area.

“Officers went to the location where he was supposed to be,” Det. Pittman said. “He fled on foot, got into a car and led officers on an extensive chase that ensued.”

Wood was captured after wrecking the vehicle he was in, but, despite having what Det. Pittman believed was a broken leg, he again attempted to flee on foot.

“He tried to run, even with a broken leg, but was taken into custody,” Det. Pittman explained.

Wood was believed to have been in surgery at a Richmond medical facility Thursday morning because of the broken leg.

Det. Pittman said Bertie County officials will seek to have Wood extradited to the county as soon as he is physically able to return.

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins said he was thankful to have Wood captured.

“I’m glad we got him into custody,” Atkins said. “I want to thank the agencies involved for their cooperation and assistance.”

Wood escaped a day after being sentenced to 93-121 months on charges which included assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a government officer, resist, obstruct and delay, being a habitual felon and driving while license revoked.

Since his escape, Wood has also been sought on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid confinement. There are also warrants for escape from confinement, felony larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Barmer, the government official (then the Police Chief in Aulander) assaulted by Wood on Aug. 30, 2004, was also elated to learn of the arrest.

“I knew he’d eventually be caught, it was just a matter of time” Barmer said. “I’m glad this has happened; it was a long time coming.”

Barmer said the tip passed along by Major Lassiter was “right on target.”

“Thanks to that tip, I was able to pass along that information to my contact within the Richmond PD,” Barmer said.

The tip placed Wood in a certain part of Richmond.

“When the Richmond officers arrived at that location, Danyashi Wood was right where the tip said he would be,” Barmer said. “I’d like to thank Major Lassiter, Sgt. Pittman and everyone who stayed on top of this case. I just hope this time around we’ll keep a closer guard on Mr. Wood because it’s apparent he likes to run.”

Wood, 28, escaped from the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail by allegedly scaling a fence when guards were distracted by other inmates. He then reportedly stole a truck from the Bertie County Schools Maintenance Department and met two other people at the Duck Thru convenience store at the end of County Farm Road.

Later, Wood’s brother and girlfriend were arrested and charged with felony aiding and abetting escape from confinement. Arrested for those offenses were Laketa Lavone Gordon, 21, and Gary Lee Wood Jr., 30.