Members of the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office were only taking a watercraft out Thursday for the first practice run of the year but they wound up apprehending a dangerous fugitive sought by US Marshals.
Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden and the other members of the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office 12 man SRT (Special Response Team) took their 15-foot inflatable watercraft, “SS MIB,” to the San Jacinto River near the Harris County line for the first outing of the year. Over half the SRT members are certified in Advanced Swift Water Rescue Technique and they regularly train to remain ready for whatever they may be called upon to handle, especially during natural disasters. However, Thursday was a unique situation because they do not usually serve arrest warrants by boat.
Pct. 4 stays in contact with US Marshals, and while at the river, the US Marshals contacted members of the SRT, stating they might be in the area of a fugitive from Harris County. Wesley Ray Beddingfield, a 33-year-old convicted felon and member of the Aryan Brotherhood, fled Harris County after attempting to beat his fiancé to death with a baseball bat several weeks ago.
The Marshals had information Beddingfield might be staying in a tent by the river and was armed.
Pct. 4 SRT members spotted Beddingfield, and the two groups quickly established a plan and executed it, surrounding Beddingfield. Members of the Pct. 4 SRT took several US Marshals in by boat, while other SRT members approached the fugitive on land, navigating the rugged terrain in 4-wheel drive vehicles, and on foot through the woods.
They swarmed the tent and took Beddingfield into custody without incident. A club was recovered from the tent the US Marshals say may have been the weapon Beddingfield used on his girlfriend.
Constable Hayden was proud of the boat’s first test run of the year.
“You might say we were multi-tasking today,” Constable Hayden quipped. “We tested our boat and also got some practice in apprehending a dangerous fugitive in a remote area.”
“We had boots on the ground within 30 minutes of receiving information about Mr. Beddingfield, and the operation was smooth and successful,” he said. “We’re happy we were able to help put Mr. Beddingfield behind bars, where he belongs.”
Beddingfield has a lengthy and violent criminal history, including a conviction for aggravated assault against a public servant (police officer) in Montgomery County.