'He was going to have to carry about 400 pounds of cable guy'

'He was going to have to carry about 400 pounds of cable guy' »Play Video
Jeff Furth
MONTESANO, Wash. -- Yesterday, they were installing TVs.

Today, two Comcast employees are being featured on them, after their heroics helped capture an escaped jail inmate.

"You could see just embarrassment on his face, like, 'Really? I just got caught by a couple of cable guys?' which is fantastic," said Jeff Furth, a field technician for Comcast. "It was a great feeling to help out."

Furth was with his supervisor Thursday, working on an installation at a chiropractor's office in Montesano. The pair had just finished the job when the business owner, Tracy Larsen, came running out, asking for help.

"She came around the corner and said, 'Dial 911! I just saw somebody run by in a jumpsuit and handcuffs,"' Furth said.

Moments beforehand, convicted child rapist Kenneth Herschler had escaped from a deputy, who was transporting the level-three sex offender from court to jail on foot. Both buildings are about half a block away from where the Comcast employees were working.

The two men started looking for Herschler. One of them spotted him within minutes.

"I saw the gap (between two buildings) and I saw a little bit of movement, so I stopped," said Aaron Mefford, a technical operations supervisor for Comcast. "That's when I saw him struggling with his handcuffs, pulling back and forth."

"I yelled, 'You need to get out here. You need to get on the ground right now,'" Mefford added.

While holding on to Herschler, Mefford also called his co-worker to help him out.

"Aaron was standing there, kind of holding on to the suspect," Furth added, "and right when I saw that, I immediately undid my belt, dropped it, and the suspect just - he bolted."

Herschler ran through a backyard and tried to scale a short stone wall and a six-foot tall wooden fence above it. The two men gave chase and caught up with him before Herschler could escape.

"It was crazy because it happened so fast," Furth added. "I held him, Aaron was holding him. I dialed 911, and I said, 'We have the suspect that ran away from the jail.'"

"He knew it was too late then. He was pushed up against the wall by two decent-sized guys anyway," Mefford said. "He was going to have to carry about 400 pounds of cable guy out if he wanted out, so he wasn't going anywhere."

Deputies eventually took Herschler back to jail, where he's now being treated as a maximum security inmate, said Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott. The sheriff's department has asked prosecutors to pursue charges of escape against Herschler for his 12 minutes of freedom.

"In this particular case, they felt comfortable approaching him and doing what they did. But it's not something we would advocate in normal circumstances," Scott said. "In this particular instance, we are very grateful for what they did and the actions they took. It helped to get the thing resolved very quickly."

"We have a pretty regular job and to have the opportunity to do something good like that? Yeah, it feels good," Mefford said.