LIVINGSTON — The Park County Sheriff says his deputies, as well as officers from at least three surrounding counties, are still looking for a man they consider armed and dangerous after he overpowered a detention center officer Sunday night and stole his sidearm and two vans.
It’s a situation that started at the Park County Detention Center on July 24, when deputies say they arrested Jordon Earl Linde on possession of opiates/meth, drug paraphernalia and intent to distribute charges - but it didn’t end here.
The sheriff’s office then brought Linde here to the hospital for a checkup on his health.
It was here that the sheriff says Linde overpowered the deputy, took his handgun and van keys and got away.
“(He) Should be considered to be armed and dangerous,” says Sheriff Brad Bichler, Park County. “We don’t know that he is in the area or not right now. We feel that he is probably not. However, that being said, we don’t know for sure.”
Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler says Jordon Earl Linde, 34, is now the suspect at the center of a three-county manhunt.
“It does make you take a look at what you could do better or what can we do better to make this a situation [something that] doesn’t happen at all,” Bichler says.
The sheriff says once at the hospital, Linde turned on the officer, taking his handgun and keys to the detention center van.
Then, Linde took off, heading towards Interstate 90 and up Highway 89 north.
“The van was recovered, as well as we did recover his jail uniform shirt so he will not be wearing the jail uniform shirt so highly likely that he is in civilian attire at this point,” Bichler says. “He was being medically evaluated for an issue that we felt could be potentially life-threatening for him, so that’s why we took him to the hospital to ensure that, even though he is an inmate, we absolutely have to ensure the inmate’s safety.”
Part of a renewed conversation now at the department: After an incident like this, what can be done to prevent something like it from happening again?
“From my standpoint as the sheriff, I like to think that our policies are very well-written and our practices are done well and, for the most part, they really are but then you have something like this that happens and it dictates policy,” Bichler says. “You just have to go back and look at that and say okay, these are some things that we are going to have to change because of this one incident.”
The sheriff says his deputy, fortunately, only suffered minor injuries.
“He’s with his family today,” Bichler says. “Shook up, but doing well.”
For now, the sheriff says law enforcement is relying on the photo, the description of the 2000 gold Chrysler Town and Country minivan that he stole after leaving behind the detention center van, and tips from the community that could make all the difference.
“By having all of those eyes and all of those ears out and listening, that’s a huge part of what we do,” Bichler says. “We’ll catch our man. We’ll find him. That’s coming.”
Again, Sheriff Bichler says it is important to remember that Linde is considered armed and dangerous.
Any information or sightings of Linde should be immediately reported to the sheriff’s office or 911.