Fox Lake Police manhunt back on land
Police believe missing man now on the run
Police are searching for a Fox Lake man who they thought had drowned when he jumped into the Chain O' Lakes to avoid being sent back to jail, only to learn later that he was alive and on the run.
The search and rescue mission to find Jason K. Beacon, 29, who has a last known address on the 0 to 100 block of Maude Avenue, ended about 12:45 p.m. Thursday when police received a phone call from one of his relatives.
Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz said the relative claimed Beacon had called to say he was safe but was running from police.
"At this point, we are certain Mr. Beacon is not in the water," Gliniewicz said. "We have issued warrants for his arrest and are currently talking with the Lake County state's attorney's office about possible charges."
Officials estimated 30 to 50 members of dive crews from 10 to 20 neighboring fire departments had spent 14 hours on the water searching for Beacon. Officials are compiling a detailed list of expenses associated with the search.
Beacon had been free from Lake County jail since June 11 after posting the required 10 percent of a $10,000 bail. Jail officials said Beacon was arrested that day on charges of domestic battery and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.
Gliniewicz said Beacon was in violation an order of protection when police were called about 9:09 p.m. Wednesday to the Maude Avenue home where he had been arguing with his girlfriend. Despite the order of protection, the girlfriend had been allowing him to stay in that residence.
Beacon was not at the home when police arrived, Gliniewicz said, having elected to go for a walk to blow off steam.
About an hour later, police were called back to that residence by someone claiming Beacon had returned and was starting another argument.
Beacon again fled before police arrived, this time by jumping into Fox Lake about 10:30 p.m. to avoid being captured, Gliniewicz said.
About 30 minutes later, police were called by Bryan Husch of the 0 to 100 block of Holly Avenue, who spotted someone walking on and hiding under his pier.
During that phone call, police were told the man believed to be Beacon was trying to steal Husch's paddle boat docked in the water, Gliniewicz said.
Husch said he spoke with the man and asked him to get out of the water but that he wouldn't listen.
"I was on the phone with the police when my girlfriend said he was stealing our paddle boat," Husch said. "But when he got into the paddle boat, he got too much water into it and the boat started to sink."
After dumping the boat, Beacon tried to swim for the nearest shoreline, Gliniewicz said, but rescuers were at a grassy knoll on Holly Drive looking for him.
Instead, Beacon swam to a no-wake buoy about 100 yards from shore, Gliniewicz said, and told rescuers he refused to get out of the water because "he didn't want to go back to jail."
"He then started to swim for the opposite shore, but rescuers lost sight of him and assumed he went under," Gliniewicz said.
Fox Lake Fire Chief Ron Hoehne said rescuers from throughout Lake and McHenry counties were called to the scene about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday to search for Beacon.
Police said Beacon is white, 6 feet tall and approximately 185 pounds. He has neck-length blonde hair and was last seen wearing gray shorts.
Anyone with information about Beacon is urged to call the Fox Lake Police Department at (847) 587-3100.