Parolee flees; manhunt ensues in Branchport

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express

A Pulteney man on parole for a previous conviction and seeking to avoid being sent to jail again, escaped police custody in handcuffs, and led officers on a chase for more than five hours Sunday night.

Alexander M. Bates, 23, of 8726 Brown Road, Pulteney, was in the custody of a Yates County Sheriff’s Deputy after being arrested on a warrant for vehicle and traffic charges. After his arraignment in Jerusalem Town Court, as he was being taken out of court to the county jail, the handcuffed Bates broke free from the deputy, running into a vineyard and then into a deep ravine to avoid capture.

Sheriff’s Deputies and Investigators, N.Y. State Parole Officers, and an Ontario County K-9 team searched the area for more than five hours. Early in the chase, Bates reportedly lost a shoe, which was later used to help the K-9 team track his path of escape. Searchers were led to Camp Good Days south of Branchport on Keuka Lake. After midnight,

Bates was discovered on Acorn Drive which encircles the camp. He had locked himself in the hatch of a parked car, and refused to unlock and exit the car as ordered by police. The owner of the vehicle was located and unlocked the car, allowing Bates to be taken into custody without further incident.

According to police, Bates was originally imprisoned in 2011 for a 1st degree criminal contempt conviction. He was paroled, but that was revoked in 2013 for a petit larceny conviction. On release again, Bates was in Jerusalem Town Court this time for reckless driving, 2nd degree aggravated unlicensed operation with three or more active suspensions, and failure to keep right. Now added to that list are charges of 2nd degree escape, 2nd degree obstruction of government administration, resisting arrest, and trespassing. He is in the Yates County Jail awaiting further arraignment.