TPWD Filing Felony Charges Following Assault on Texas Game Warden

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AUSTIN – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement officials plan to file felony charges Friday in Bastrop County on 36-year-old Jake Russell Childers for resisting arrest and assault on a state game warden attempting to make an arrest.

Acting on notifications from several law enforcement agencies that Childers posed a safety threat to police and the public, was wanted on eight outstanding felony arrest warrants, and was suspected of involvement in illegal hunting activities, a Bastrop County game warden initiated a surveillance operation near the home of a known relative.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, Nov. 13, the game warden observed Childers leaving the home in possession of fishing gear walking toward an area known to be a local trouble spot for trespassing and fishing on private ponds without landowner consent. After requesting backup from local law enforcement, the warden made his way to a location he suspected Childers to be headed. Due to concerns the individual was about to flee the area, the decision was made to initiate contact with the suspect prior to backup arriving on scene. As the game warden attempted to put him in handcuffs, Childers resisted arrest and assaulted the game warden. After an intense struggle, Childers escaped into thick woods nearby.

An extensive manhunt ensued involving several law enforcement agencies, headed by TPWD’s criminal investigations and tactical operations teams. Childers, with help from his sister, 34-year-old Dusty Lynn McBride, managed to elude law enforcement for two days before being apprehended in Austin early Tuesday by multiple law enforcement agencies, including state game wardens, state troopers, Austin police and Bastrop County sheriff’s deputies.

At the time of his arrest, Childers had numerous outstanding felony warrants out of Live Oak County on various charges, including assault and burglary.

His sister was also arrested for hindering apprehension or prosecution, a third degree felony, and booked into the Travis County Jail by game wardens along with Childers.

The game warden who was assaulted sustained minor injuries in the initial incident and remained involved throughout the manhunt.

“This incident illustrates the dedication of Texas game wardens and the risks our officers face every day while carrying out their duties as state police officers,” said Col. Craig Hunter, TPWD Director of Law Enforcement. “It is the responsibility of every Texas game warden to ensure the public’s safety on and off the pavement.”