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Red Beard Captured

William Allan ‘Redbeard’ Evers, Mendocino County’s famously elusive fugitive, was arrested last Thursday morning. Often spotted over the nine months he was being sought between Elk and Albion, a resident of Albion Ridge Road saw Evers the day  before he was caught crouched beside an outbuilding on the resident’s property. Having been seen, Evers sprinted off into the nearby woods.

Sheriff's deputies were soon at the site where they saw Evers from a distance, but the athletic wanted man again evaded pursuers.

The next day, the last Thursday (4th November) Evers would be free, three deputies returned to the area known locally as the "Doughnut Shop".

Approximately 300 yards downhill from the "Doughnut Shop" two deputies encountered Evers when unaware of the deputies, Evers suddenly emerged from brushy terrain “eight feet away from  us.” as a deputy described the encounter.  Evers ran back into the brush as police dog Takota took up the chase. Takota quickly overtook Evers who kicked him away. But Takota resumed the hunt, eventually knocking Evers to the ground and biting his quarry in the lower leg.

Deputies wrestled Evers into handcuffs.  The foot chase had covered approximately 50 yards, but the determined Evers, handcuffed, again attempted to flee but was again restrained by deputies, this time permanently. He was placed in Wrap leg restraints in the back of a patrol car. 

Evers was transported to the Sheriff's Office Ukiah station to meet with Mendocino County District Attorney Investigators, Sheriff's Office detectives and to be medically cleared prior to being booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

Some of us had assumed Red Beard was inevitable, invincible, that our famous fugitive would stay out there forever, the man slowly becoming myth when he was no more. We’d also suspected that some old Albion outlaw, Captain Fathom or Beth Bosk or maybe even Pebs Trippett down on the deep south bank of the Navarro, had perhaps provided a winter home for Red Beard. But the Albion of 2021 is not the outlaw Albion Nation of 1975.  

Beard, with drenching early rains falling on the parched county, was holed up in a kind of brush cave he'd fashioned for himself off Albion Ridge Road near an area old timers called the "donut shop."

As Sheriff Kendall assessed Redbeard’s situation, “What he was up to was not sustainable.  It’s not like being a plumber. Even an accomplished outdoorsman like him couldn’t stay out there forever.”

The Sheriff said it was the fugitive’s bicycle tracks that helped deputies locate him, although the Sheriff's Department had previously done some impressive tracking of the Beard. 

A trio of lawmen — Lt. J.D. Comer; Brandon Juntz; Brandon McGregor, and the intrepid Takota, now had a clear idea of where he was. 

Combining electronic surveillance with sightings and numerous burglaries presumably committed by the Beard, deputies zeroed in on his location within a very small radius on Albion Ridge. Then, following tire tracks from Beard's bicycle, and moving stealthily  down a barely discernible path with police dog Takota there he suddenly was with his trademark backpack stuffed with many pounds of his daily essentials. 

Sheriff Matt Kendall had said that "this guy runs like an Olympic athlete. Without his pack he might have even outrun the dog, and even with 60 or 70 pounds on his back he's very fast." 

The Sheriff recalled an earlier encounter with Red Beard when, after allegedly snapping off a rifle round at pursuing deputies, the Beard, running blind in total darkness, hurdled a fence and easily outran the deputies chasing him.

Sheriff Kendall said Monday that deputies are still combing the area where Beard was caught, but no weapon had been found.

Beard did try to make one more dash from beneath the two deputies on top of him when he was initially subdued Thursday morning and handcuffed, but he was quickly and permanently secured. The Sheriff said “he didn't really resist” arrest by fighting nor did he curse his captors. 

The famous fugitive seems to have developed a love for Mendocino County when he’d served here as a state prison firefighter. A former cellmate remembers, “Evers was my cell mate/bunky in Humboldt County Correction Facility in 2002. 385 Workers Dorm. He is a really nice guy. He was a wildlands firefighter. He was going to get me a job as a firefighter but I decided to just go back into growing cannabis which was why I was in jail in the first place. I hope the best for him!”

From all accounts, Evers had no history of violence. People who know him say they are surprised that he’d shoot at anybody, let alone a cop. An acquaintance said he does have a serious drinking problem — he stole numerous bottles of alcohol during break-ins — but that he’d never been violent so far as she was aware. 

Researcher Deb Silva reported her Evers investigation.  “I looked up Evers and found lots of court cases from Shasta County. He was born in Shasta County, his parents married there and are still married. He has one brother who has been in a bit of trouble, too. His parents now live in Arizona, which is where the Arizona connection comes in. I could not find Red Beard at Been Verified nor is he on either of his parents BV reports, although the brother is on the reports. I expect that is because Evers has had no stable address, besides prison, and no employment for many years. Court records do not state exactly what crimes he was charged with, they simply say whether or not they were misdemeanor or felony. One or two of the records say that he falls under the three strikes sentencing. He was on parole during his recent time on the lam in the Albion area. His parole was revoked in June of this year. I could not find any newspaper articles about his arrests in Shasta County.”

Evers was assumed to have spent hours watching homes in the Elk and Albion areas, and when surveilled residents went away he'd dart inside to re-supply, with his acquisition focus being alcohol. Residents of upper Albion were of course unnerved at the Beard's numerous break-ins and have mostly welcomed his arrest.

As he appears in his arrest photograph, Evers doesn’t appear what we might call the picture of remorse, but looks rather more like an indomitable kind of dude who, at least to us, lives up to the spirited figure we imagined him to be. The guy's got some charisma going for sure.

We hope to interview The Beard about his survival skills and his life before, during and after his famous Mendo interlude.


  1. Douglas Coulter November 11, 2021

    When you are running from the law never hang out near a doughnut shop!

  2. Margot Lane November 11, 2021

    Don’t we need more people fighting fires than growing (water hungry) weed? How do we make this job more tempting to people? I am sure Sheriff Kendall would rather be pinning a medal on Evers (and his bunk mate) for putting out a fire than spending hours chasing him in the dark wilderness..

    • Douglas Coulter November 11, 2021

      “To live outside the law you must be honest” Bob Dylan

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