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Police chief: 'One of most dangerous individuals in the city' taken back into custody

Andre "A3" Williamson, 30, is pictured Thursday after he was taken back into custody. (WCHS/WVAH)

A man who escaped home confinement by cutting off his ankle bracelet and described by Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper as “one of the most dangerous individuals in the city” has been taken back into custody.

Andre “A3” Williamson, 30, escaped about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to Cooper. Police say when Williamson cut off his ankle monitor, home confinement officers were immediately notified and responded within minutes to begin the search for him. Charleston police spent Wednesday night and morning searching for him.

Charleston police said they found Williamson at grocery store in Malden around 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. He was taken into custody after a struggle, and a gun fell out of his waistband, Cooper said.

Williamson denied having a gun to Eyewitness News reporter Leslie Rubin. "They didn't find no gun on me. There was two or three people throwing me to the ground. There was a bunch of commotion. They didn't find no gun on me," he said.

In August, Williamson was arrested in Wood County after being on the run since May. He was wanted for possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Charleston police said they executed a search warrant in May at Williamson’s Clay Avenue home and found three firearms and crack cocaine.

A Wood County magistrate set bond in that case at $300,00 cash but in September, it was lowered by Kanawha Magistrate Pete Lopez. Lopez set Williamson's new bond at $150,000 or 10% cash, which was posted later by a bail bondsmen in Charleston. Lopez ruled that if Williamson was able to post the bond, he must be remanded to home confinement.

"Considering his violent past, the convictions, and the fact that he has been sought by law enforcement and evaded them in the past, he's made threats to law enforcement officers during the course of other arrests, it's really alarming that he's on home confinement. All the factors are there for him to have a high bond," Cooper said, noting that Kanawha prosecutors objected to the bond reduction the home confinement condition at the hearing.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones agreed saying, "I think it was totally inappropriate to let this very dangerous individual out of jail. It should have been left where it was in Parkersburg at $300,000."

Williamson has several previous convictions ranging from malicious assault to wanton endangerment. He also has been featured on Eyewitness News’ Fugitive Files several times.

Williamson is now facing new charges of escape and being a felon in possession of a gun. Magistrate Brent Hall set bond on the new charges at $50,000 cash but if Williamson is able to post the money, he still can not get out jail because his previous bond has been revoked for violating home confinement.

During his arraignment on the new charges, Williamson became extremely angry when prosecutors were brought in to argue bond. He ripped up his paperwork and threw it on the floor.

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