Deputies search for South Bay dangerous felon

September 2, 2009 6:00:54 PM PDT
Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies have called in tactical officers, a K-9 team and a helicopter to search for a wanted felon who escaped capture late Tuesday night and is considered armed and dangerous.

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There are several warrants out for the arrest of Joel Barnes, 39, who spent 11 years in prison for murder and is now wanted on charges including assault with a deadly weapon, Sgt. Rick Sung said.

Deputies received a tip that Barnes was at a home of an "associate" in the 10000 block of Harding Avenue, in the San Martin area of southern Santa Clara County, and went there to arrest him shortly before midnight, Sung said.

Sung said Barnes escaped capture and fled in a green pickup truck. At some point during the attempt to arrest him, a deputy fired multiple shots at Barnes.

No one was hit by the gunfire, Sung said. Deputies pursued Barnes from the San Martin home, but he eluded them in Mt. Madonna County Park, west of Gilroy, Sung said. Since then, sheriff's deputies have called in a K-9 unit, a helicopter and the county SWAT team to scour the area, he said. Barnes, who has no permanent address, is wanted on felony charges stemming from multiple incidents, according to Sung. Those charges include assault with a deadly weapon, being a felon in possession of illegal firearms, stealing a handgun from a home and domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend, he said. "He's very smart and he knows the ins and outs of the area like the back of his hand," Sung said. Barnes is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Sheriff's deputies are asking the public to be on the lookout for his 1973 green Ford pickup truck, with California license plate 4L81646. Anyone with information on Barnes' whereabouts should contact Sgt. David Lera or Sgt. Fred Alanis at (408) 808-4500. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call (408) 808-4431.

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