Man escapes from police

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A fugitive escaped police custody Saturday morning under the guise of helping them recover property stolen in local burglaries, according to a police report.

Michael Gutierrez, 22, of Clovis was arrested around 10 a.m. Saturday on an outstanding warrant, the report said.

The warrant was for burglary, larceny, conspiracy to commit a felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, court records show.

Jail officials said Gutierrez was brought to them for booking, but asked to go to the hospital, saying he had been injured during the arrest. Jail officials said Gutierrez was released into the custody of the arresting officer Charlie Aguirre for transport.

While en route to the hospital, Gutierrez asked to speak to a detective, offering to lead police to stolen property, the police report said.

Clovis Police detective Waylon Rains took Gutierrez to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard to retrieve stolen property connected to the case.

Rains said Gutierrez made several trips from an apartment to the detective’s vehicle with stolen property, but eventually did not return. When police went to the apartment to check for the suspect, the occupants told them they didn’t know Gutierrez, the report said.

Rains said he allowed the suspect to go into the apartment unescorted because he didn’t have a search warrant and it wasn’t the suspect’s apartment.

“It was a risk, but with him not being a violent offender, it was a shot I was willing to take,” Rains said.

Rains said about a $1,000 worth of stolen property was recovered. He also felt confident police would be able to capture Gutierrez in the near future.

A warrant for escape from custody of a peace officer was issued Tuesday for Gutierrez, according to court records.