Philly’s Criminal Justice Center Was Locked Down After Defendant Fled Courtroom

The defendant has been apprehended, officials say.

Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center. Photo | Dan McQuade

Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. Photo | Dan McQuade

Well, this is scary: The Criminal Justice Center was temporarily locked down Tuesday after a defendant fled a courtroom, officials said.

Airika Walker, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said defendant Stefan Noble bolted out of a sixth-floor courtroom sometime between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.

“He actually ran to the eighth floor,” said Walker. “The sheriff followed protocol, locked down the building, and shut down the gates.”

Noble was eventually found and apprehended on the eighth floor, she said. “He’s back in custody. He may be charged with attempted escape.”

All in all, the CJC was under lockdown for “less than an hour,” Walker said.

Walker could not immediately say why Noble was in court. According to court records, though, he was due there Tuesday for a trial on terroristic threat and retail theft charges.

This isn’t the first time Noble has seen the inside of a courtroom: Court records show that he has been convicted of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver drugs, as well as marijuana possession. He has also pleaded guilty to a DUI. Plus, in 2009, he was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, simple assault and other crimes, but those charges were withdrawn.

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