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Man Sought After Fleeing Amador Courthouse, Steals Truck, Chased To Calaveras

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Calaveras County, CA – An Amador County man fled a Jackson courtroom on foot, stole a truck, and led law enforcement on a chase to the Mountain Ranch area of Calaveras County yesterday afternoon – He remains on the loose.

The suspect is 35-year-old David Lee Salke Jr.; he was at the Amador County Superior Courthouse for a hearing and took off in the middle of it. Amador Sheriff’s officials detailed, “Salke Jr, was in the process of being remanded into custody by a judge for violating various terms/conditions of a prior release.”

That stemmed from Salke’s arrested in early February where after seeing shotgun shells scattered on the floor of his vehicle, a search uncovered a couple of firearms, including a short-barreled shotgun, as earlier reported here. 

This current incident turned into a pursuit yesterday around 4 p.m. when shortly after running from the courthouse, Salke stole a pickup truck from a nearby construction site. It was spotted by a Jackson Police Officer, who tried to pull Salke over, but instead, he hit the gas, heading northbound on Highway 49 into Calaveras County. Joining in the pursuit were Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies and a California Highway Patrol airship.

Salke turned onto Highway 26 in the Mokelumne Hill area and then various cross streets during the chase. Amador County Sheriff’s officials report that is where they lost sight of him. Salke ditched the truck in the area of Doster Road and Maranantha Way in Mountain Ranch. However, the CHP airship still had him in its sights as he ran toward the Tiger Creek Reservoir area. A massive search began in “extremely steep and difficult terrain in an attempt to locate Salke,” according to Amador Sheriff’s officials.

During that search, suddenly deputies were flagged down and told that another person had gone into the water and “hadn’t been seen for approximately 15 minutes.” Then the pursuit turned into a possible water rescue. When asked by Clarke Broadcasting whether anyone was found in the water Amador Sheriff’s officials stated that no information was being released on that incident at this time.

Additionally, when asked whether Salke is considered armed and dangerous, they replied, “He is not a risk to the community.”  The chase was called off last night around 9 p.m. Anyone spotting Salke or with information regarding his whereabouts should contact the ACSO at (209) 223-6500.