Out of hiding – Escapee turns himself in without incident

The man who jumped out of a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department prisoner transportation van outside of the East Boston District Court, stole a Boston Public Works truck and led police on a car chase through Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and Malden before abandoning the vehicle and fleeing on foot Friday was caught last night in Charlestown.

Stephen Woodard, 20, was able to evade police capture for three days and his escape and subsequent disappearance forced authorities to conduct a statewide manhunt over the weekend.

However, Woodard’s luck ran out Monday.

Acting on a tip provided by the Boston Police Department, members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff’s Investigation Unit (SID) unit responded to an apartment in the Charlestown Projects in McNulty Court where Woodard had been hiding out.

Following discussions between an attorney representing Woodard and several members of the Sheriff’s Department, Woodard surrendered peacefully at about 6 p.m. Monday evening. Over the weekend, Woodard had been in contact with Sheriff’s investigators and field service officers, who convinced him to give himself up. Woodard asked that Sheriff’s investigators be present when he was taken into custody.

For the last several days, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department SID investigators and Field Supervision Unit (FSU) officers pursued a number of leads and tips regarding Woodard’s whereabouts after he escaped the prisoner transportation van. Woodard was in custody for two Suffolk County offenses and was headed to court in Eastie on one of them at the time of his flight.

“This was a successful county-wide effort between the Sheriff’s Department, Boston Police, State Police, Revere Police and Chelsea Police,” said Sheriff Andrea Cabral. “The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department SID and FSU units worked extremely hard to apprehend Mr. Woodard safely and without incident,”

Woodard was arraigned on March 1 in Charlestown District Court for distribution of a Class B substance, possession with intent to distribute a Class B substance, and violating the state’s drug laws in a school zone. He was held on $1,000 and later posted that amount. On Tuesday, June 1, Woodard was arraigned in Charlestown court for allegedly robbing a man at knifepoint and assaulting three Boston Police officers. He was held on $2,000 and his bail on the earlier drug case was revoked.

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