York City man escapes authorities for 2nd time in a week

Liz Evans Scolforo
  • Police say Jayson Velez-Irizarry escaped from police Sunday, then from a constable Wednesday.

A York City man accused of escaping from the back of a Springettsbury Township police cruiser less than a week ago has escaped again — this time from the office of District Judge James Morgan.

Jayson L. Velez-Irizarry remains on the lam, now wanted on the felony charge of escape.

Jayson Velez-Irizarry

He had just been arraigned by Morgan about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday on a burglary charge, for which the judge set bail at $50,000, and because of that wasn't free to leave, according to charging documents.

But before state Constable Carl Barley could handcuff Velez-Irizarry and take him into custody, the defendant ran from Morgan's 1215 Roosevelt Ave. office, officials said. Barley declined comment Thursday, as did the judge.

"I wasn't expecting that," said attorney Jay Whittle, who was representing Velez-Irizarry. "Judge Morgan wasn't pleased."

Court records indicate Morgan rescinded the $50,000 bail he'd just set.

Whittle said he can't publicly discuss what he witnessed because of attorney-client privilege and also because prosecutors could at some point call him as a witness, "and probably will."

Whittle said he is withdrawing as Velez-Irizarry's attorney on the man's criminal cases.

York City Police filed charging documents Thursday afternoon to obtain an arrest warrant for Velez-Irizarry.

Earlier escape: He was arrested Sunday by Springettsbury Township Police after a 12:30 p.m. incident at the Quality Inn, 2600 E. Market St. Alleged victim Joanna Kinard, the defendant's onetime girlfriend, told police he had struck her on the chin, according to charging documents.

Velez-Irizarry had fled the motel before officers arrived, but he was stopped on Route 30 near the Wrightsville exit by Hellam Township Police, at which point Springettsbury Sgt. Brian Wilbur took custody of him, police said.

The sergeant handcuffed Velez-Irizarry behind his back, put him in the back seat of the cruiser and headed to the county's central booking unit in York City, police said.

At some point, Velez-Irizarry asked Wilbur to roll down a rear window because it was hot, and Wilbur did, according to police.

Slipped a cuff: But Velez-Irizarry had managed to slip one of his hands out of the handcuffs, police said.

In the area of Route 30 and North Sherman Street, he reached his hand out the window and opened the rear cruiser door using the exterior handle, documents state.

Police: Escapee slipped handcuff, ran from cruiser

He made a run for it, crossing both eastbound lanes of Route 30 and darting through traffic, police allege.

Wilbur and two other Springettsbury officers chased down the escapee on foot and captured him, documents state.

Velez-Irizarry, 27, formerly of South Sherman Street, later posted bond on the Sunday escape case and was released Sunday night, according to records. In addition to escape, Springettsbury Township Police filed charges of resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and simple assault.

Burglary case: His burglary charging documents allege he broke into Kinard's home, confronted her and stole her cellphone from her hand.

Documents also allege he continues to call and harass Kinard, even though she's obtained a protection from abuse order against him.

His new escape charging documents indicate he gave authorities an address of 720 N. Shippen St. in Lancaster.

Anyone with information about Velez-Irizarry's whereabouts should call 911.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.