A Quinhagak man facing multiple felony charges escaped from custody outside the Bethel courthouse Tuesday morning, leading to a multi-agency manhunt in the town.


A court service officer (CSO) transporting 21-year-old Brenton White and other inmates reported the escape at 8:25 a.m. White had slipped out of his restraints, which were connecting him to another inmate, an online Alaska State Trooper dispatch explained. Troopers said the CSO did not chase after him because of the other inmates in his custody.


Brenton White. Photo: Bethel Police Department

Brenton White. Photo: Bethel Police Department


Troopers, Bethel police, other CSOs and adult probation officers (APO) began searching for White immediately after the report came in, the dispatch said. An hour later, he was spotted running across the highway near the courthouse and tried to hide in an abandoned home nearby. A trooper and an APO attempted to arrest him, but White physically resisted, troopers wrote.


“Both officers received minor injuries in the form of bruises and scratches,” the dispatch noted. “White complained of pain to one of his legs.”


After he was cleared by medical staff, authorities took him to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center, where he was booked on charges of second-degree escape and resisting arrest, as well as two counts of fourth-degree assault on a police officer, troopers said.


Online court records show he was brought back to court that afternoon to be arraigned as originally scheduled for the morning on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor, all of which are felonies. That case stems from an incident that occurred in Quinhagak on July 16 when White allegedly gave alcohol to three young children and then tried to sexually touch two of them, KYUK Public Media reported.