The U.S. Marshals Service and Berkeley Police Department arrested an escaped sex offender Tuesday at a homeless encampment, as first reported by Berkeleyside.
The suspect, George Blair, is 35 years old. He was convicted in Washington in 2013 and 2014 for failing to register as a sex offender, according to online records from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to these convictions, Blair was convicted in California in 1999 for lewd or lascivious acts with two boys, ages six and nine.
According to BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Blair escaped from a community custody program in Spokane, Washington, and has been at large since October.
Sex offender investigators from USMS asked BPD for assistance in locating Blair about 12:19 p.m. Tuesday, according to Frankel. The USMS investigators suspected that Blair was living in a homeless encampment on the 1400 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Frankel said BPD officers and USMS deputies arrived at the encampment about 2:15 p.m., where they located and arrested Blair without incident.
“He initially denied being George Blair,” Frankel said. “(Then) he was transported to the Berkeley City Jail where he was fingerprinted and his identification was confirmed.”
Blair has since been transported to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, according to Frankel. Frankel added that Blair “would probably be extradited back to Washington State.”
According to Frankel, Blair admitted to authorities that he knowingly failed to register upon leaving the state.
“We believe he’s been in Berkeley since November,” Frankel said.
Frankel emphasized BPD’s gratitude for and the importance of USMS’s assistance in apprehending Blair and keeping the city community safe.