Drug suspect caught after leap out motel
A Clinton drug suspect who jumped out a second-story window of the Econo Lodge Motel Sunday night and was captured is now being held in the Custer County Jail in lieu of bonds exceeding $100,000.
The suspect is Josue Roque, who is two weeks shy of his 21st birthday.
Detective Lt. Ray Hammans of the Clinton Police Department said Roque was wanted on three felony warrants and Officer Michel O’Kelley developed information that he was staying at the Econo Lodge, 1413 Neptune Dr. Officers went to the second-story room he was staying in about 10:30 Sunday night.
Hammans said he refused them access and when they forced their way in, he jumped out the window.
“He took a pretty good tumble,” said the detective, “but he was able to get back up and take off running.”
He didn’t get very far, though. The P.D. had sought backup from the Custer County Sheriff’s Office before the arrest attempt, and Sheriff Kenneth Tidwell said Deputy Blake Powers was able to capture Roque before he had gone 50 feet.
Detective Lt. Luis De La Torre got a search warrant for the room Roque had unceremoniously vacated, and Hammans said a large bag of methamphetamine was found in it along with a small amount of marijuana, a set of digital scales, and a Glock pistol that was lying on the bed.
The meth weighed 98 grams, which is a little over three ounces. While that might sound small to someone unfamiliar with illegal drugs, Hammans said it is actually a considerable amount and definitely well above the minimum needed to charge the holder with trafficking in drugs.
Despite his relatively young age, Roque is well known to local authorities. Sheriff Tidwell said his record shows 2017 convictions for distributing a controlled dangerous substance within 2,000 feet of a park or school and/or in the presence of a minor, and for unlawful possession of CDS with intent to distribute.
Prior to his latest arrest, he also had a 2018 charge of endangering others while attempting to elude a police officer pending, along with possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a firearm after conviction or during probation, and unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute. All those were filed Dec. 28.
Hammans said he was charged this time with trafficking in methamphetamine and another count of possessing a firearm after felony conviction.
One of the felony warrants he was being sought on when he jumped out the window was the one filed Dec. 28 for endangering others while attempting to elude a police officer. In that case he allegedly was fleeing from Officer Peter Porcher on Nov. 25 when he hit a car parked in a driveway and then drove his car into a house at 504 S. Eighth St.
Hammans was also the investigating officer in that case. He said Porcher saw Roque driving a vehicle with an expired tag and followed him as he turned east onto Knox Avenue and then north onto Eighth. That’s where he allegedly hit the car in the driveway before smashing into the house.
He then got out of the car and fled on foot. Hammans said Porcher couldn’t follow because he was trying to get medical attention for a female victim who had been riding in the car with Roque.
Consequently, he got away, and that’s why police were still trying to arrest him when they went to the motel Sunday night.
In the meantime, Hammans talked with the mother of the young lady riding with Roque when he crashed into the house. She told him a backpack found lying beside the wrecked car had been picked up and placed in it, and it had been taken to a local wrecker yard.
Hammans went there and later said he found two pistols in the backpack plus over 17 grams of meth in the car.