Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

January 29, 2014

Inmate bolts, fails to escape

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man’s effort to escape from Grand Traverse County’s jail abruptly ended when his dash through an open door led to a closed garage instead of freedom, authorities said.

Alexander William Sundling, 20, remains behind bars as prosecutors weigh potential felony charges. Jail Lt. Buck Monroe said Sundling was being booked into the jail on Tuesday when he spied a female delivery driver open a door to a garage where she’d dropped off boxes of commissary items.

“An opportunity arose, or what he thought was, and he tried to take advantage of the opportunity,” Monroe said.

Sundling pushed past the woman and ran into the jail’s intake garage, only to find both its doors were closed. He turned to face the jail officers who ran after him; officers managed to subdue and restrain him after a short struggle.

It wasn’t Sundling’s first attempt to resist law enforcement officers that day, said sheriff’s Capt. Randy Fewless.

Sundling’s troubles began when deputies tried to arrest him on an Antrim County warrant for retail fraud, a misdemeanor. But Fewless said Sundling invited a felony charge when he resisted arrest to the point that a deputy had to use a Taser in order to take him into custody.

“I would say there’s a fair number that end in Tasing,” Fewless said of difficult arrests.

Monroe said Sundling didn’t cause any trouble for jail officers until he stood for booking and tried to make his ill-fated mad dash toward the door, another potential felony for a suspect who initially faced a misdemeanor. He said in his 20 years of working at the jail he’s only seen three inmates try to escape through the garage.

“We run a pretty secure facility,” Monroe said.

Authorities requested charges against Sundling for attempted escape, resisting and obstructing officers and assault on the female delivery driver.

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