Capture of Escapee from San Juan County Detention Center


On 10/18/12 at 0726 hours detention guards reported that Andrew Whittenberg, age 23 of Aztec NM, had escaped custody from a transport van at the intersection of County Road 350 at County Road 390. While in the van, the suspect freed himself from the handcuffs and leg irons and broke out a rear window. He then fled the area eastbound into the Homestead sub-division. San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the area and set up a perimeter and began looking for the suspect.

Bloomfield Officer Brian McCarty heard the radio traffic and began searching the area outside the perimeter on County Road 5030. McCarty then came into contact with a red pickup on County Road 5030 and he discovered that the escapee was in fact the driver of the pickup. Whittenburg had removed his jail uniform and was wearing his long underwear. Andrew had cuts to his right hand, its presumed from breaking out the van window. Officer McCarty was able to arrest Whittenberg without incident.

During the subsequent follow up investigation by San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies it was learned that Whittenberg used a handcuff key to free himself from the restraints. He then broke out the van window and fled to a nearby residence where he stole a pickup that had the keys left in it. He then left the area when he was captured by Bloomfield Police Officer McCarty.

Whittenberg was currently incarcerated for an escape from jail charge. He is currently back in custody at the San Juan County Detention Center and facing the new charges of Escape, Furnishing articles for escape, tampering with evidence, County Road minimal damage to property, and unlawful taking of motor vehicle.