Airman captured in Texas after 16-day manhunt

  • Published
  • By Chad Garland
  • Stars and Stripes

An airman who fled a Texas base after an altercation with police has been apprehended, Air Force officials said, ending a 16-day manhunt.

Airman 1st Class Erland Injerd was arrested May 7, 2020, and was being held in a county jail near Dyess Air Force Base, here, the Office of Special Investigations said May 8, 2020, on Facebook.

“Injerd will be held in pre-trial confinement at the Taylor County Detention Center, pending trial by courts-martial,” said the post, which included a graphic saying he was wanted for assaulting a federal officer, evading arrest and absence without leave.

A photo from his booking at the Taylor County jail appears to show cuts on his face. Jail records indicate that he was arrested at a Dallas apartment, about a 205-mile drive from the base.

“We are grateful for the help of the community and our law enforcement partners,” OSI said in its post.

The airman had been on the run since April 22, 2020, when he scuffled with two Air Force officials and a security forces patrolman outside his home on the base. Police said he may have armed himself before fleeing, and officials had heightened security on base “just in case” he posed a threat.

The officials had visited his home to order him to surrender his firearms after he sent a threatening email to his chain of command, the FBI said in a criminal complaint filed April 24, 2020. Injerd, who the military’s universal email address list showed as a weather forecaster, was charged with assaulting a federal agent during that visit.

He punched the patrolman in the face, but when the two other men tried to restrain him, they all wound up on the ground, according to the complaint. Injerd then poked the patrolman in the eye and kicked one of the other men in a knee that had recently been operated on.

Injerd then fled into the residence and out a basement window, scaled a perimeter fence and disappeared into a wooded area of Abilene, evading a police search.