EL DORADO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – A man who was being sentenced to state prison ran away after he was released for three hours Thursday to get his affairs in order.
According to El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Pete Van Arnum, a judge signed a three-hour release for Anthony James Katello, 51, to take care of business before his incarceration. A volunteer from a local church was tasked with driving Katello to a couple places in South Lake Tahoe. When he drove into the Barton Memorial Hospital area, where Katello said he had to meet someone, Katello took off on foot.
“I don’t think the judge would have released him if he felt he was dangerous,” Van Arnum said.
Sheriff’s deputies, South Lake Tahoe SWAT, a CHP airplane and K-9 units searched the meadow area behind Barton, where Katello was reportedly last seen, for hours, Van Arnum said.
Katello was in custody for spousal battery and making terrorist threats. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest. Anyone who sees Katello is asked to call 911.