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Bail set for Bemidji escapee arrested in St. Cloud

Keanu Joseph Major

BEMIDJI, Minn.—Bail for a Bemidji man who was captured after escaping from custody was set Wednesday, Aug. 2, during a short court appearance.

Keanu Joseph Major, 22, escaped early Friday morning, July 28, from Sanford Bemidji Medical Center after a corrections officer allowed him to use the restroom, according to court documents. After a multi-day manhunt, he was apprehended in St. Cloud, according to a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office sent at 8:29 p.m. Tuesday.

Major was charged Monday with escaping from custody, a felony. During his Wednesday court appearance, Judge Paul Benshoof set bail at $150,000 without conditions and $100,000 with conditions. Major is also being held without bail on three probation violation charges.

Major was initially arrested June 29 after he was accused of running over another man with his car in response to being stabbed. He was charged with second-degree assault and failure to stop after a traffic collision.

While he was held in the Beltrami County Jail, Major was involved in two separate altercations, prompting his trip Thursday night, July 27, to the emergency room.

While at the hospital, Major asked to go to the bathroom. The corrections officer supervising him noticed that Major was "taking a while," documents say, and knocked on the door. Major said he was OK, so the officer waited a few more minutes before knocking again. She received no answer and opened the bathroom door to find that Major was missing.

After looking at surveillance footage, the officer saw that Major had left via a bathroom door that led to a hallway, then went out the south exit of the hospital while holding up his leg restraints.

Deputies believe he then stole a vehicle from the Bardwell Park neighborhood. He was later seen leaving a vehicle near Lake George, about 20 miles south of Bemidji, at 11 a.m. Friday. Investigators tracked him to St. Cloud, where he was arrested without incident in an apartment complex in the 3700 block of West St. Germaine St.

Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said Tuesday that the corrections officer was not at fault, and that a lack of staff contributed to the escape. Procedures have been put in place to prevent additional escapes, he said.

Major is next scheduled to appear in court Monday, Aug. 7.