Most Wanted suspect evades officers by jumping into river, law enforcements unite for successful arrest


On March 26, 2017, at approximately 1:45 p.m., officers were sent to the area of Cypress Avenue and Bechelli Lane in regards to a citizen reporting one of Shasta County’s Most Wanted individuals walking in the area. Officers arrived and observed James Albert Maynard, 39 years of Redding, walking with a female near the intersection. Maynard was wanted for charges of false imprisonment with injury or violence, violation of a domestic violence restraining order, and failure to pay child support.

When officers tried to contact Maynard, he and the female both fled on foot in different directions. Maynard jumped a fence along Interstate 5 and then ran across the freeway and into the parking lot of the La Quinta Inn, on Hilltop Drive. Officers attempted to arrest Maynard, who then fled back across Interstate 5 and through a construction site on Bechelli Lane. Maynard scaled a 200 foot embankment and plunged into the Sacramento River, where officers could not reach him.

Maynard attempted to first swim north against the river current before floating downstream and hiding in a cluster of poison oak and brush. The California Highway Patrol Air Operations Unit responded with a plane and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office dispatched a boat to assist. Officers from the Redding Police Department reached the embankment bottom by boat and took Maynard into custody. Maynard was transported to Mercy Medical Center for precautionary treatment of hypothermia, before being transported to the Shasta County Jail. Maynard was booked on 3 warrants for his arrest and resisting officers.

During the investigation, the female that was with Maynard, was found along the riverbank of the Sacramento River near the Cypress Bridge. The female had been communicating with Maynard through text messages about the locations of officers on the perimeter to assist him in trying to escape. The female was booked at the Shasta County Jail but will remain unidentified due to being a Victim in one of Maynard’s pending criminal cases.