Police: Soldier escaped military custody, vanished after chase
Pfc. Russell Marcum, 20, is considered armed and dangerous, New York state police say.
September 16th, 2011
05:01 PM ET

Police: Soldier escaped military custody, vanished after chase

State police in central New York are looking for a U.S. soldier who they say escaped military custody at Fort Drum, stole his parents' car and led police on a four-county chase.

Pfc. Russell Marcum, 20, of Morgantown, West Virginia, is considered armed and dangerous, state police said.

Marcum, who was in "unit custody" on the base after being arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of burglary, eluded officials on base Thursday night, got into an altercation with a fellow soldier and stole his parents’ 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, state Trooper Jack Keller said.

He drove away from the area and led police on a chase, Keller said. The car eventually went over stop sticks that police had deployed in rural Otsego County, and Marcum lost control of the vehicle, according to Keller.

Marcum left the car and fled into a wooded area, and he hasn’t been seen since, Keller said.

Just hours before he left Fort Drum, Marcum’s parents bailed him out of the Jefferson County (New York) Jail, where he’d been held since Monday on burglary charges, Fort Drum spokeswoman Julie Cupernall said. He was placed into unit custody at Fort Drum after his parents posted bail, Cupernall said.

Marcum joined the Army in August 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan from January to March, Cupernall said.

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Filed under: Fort Hood • Military • New York
soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. heather

    Mark: good luck with the white sheets. don't forget to cut the eyeholes out.

    September 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jesse hernandez

    I am the sixth generation in the army alone, my grandfather & uncles taught me how to be a sniper & sniper school was offered to me in basic training. during & before ww2 soilders were treated like students & DI's acted like teachers. abuse & training are two different worlds. i graduated basic at 300lbs & i was treated properly & i made sure everyone else was as well when it was my job to do so. i did notice if there isn't an intimidating trainee some DI's & seargents will get away with what they can. i was blessed with a DI that was old school & i will always have the highest respect for soilders that do there job properly. soilders that disobey their duty as a citizen & a soilder are considered trained mercenairies or thugs.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • AROCK

      Graduated weighing 300lbs, your Grandfather trained you to be a sniper, and you were offered Sniper School right out of Basic? Sure your name isn't Vasily?

      September 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      Don't know anyone who has gone to sniper school in basic training...and the army we have drill sergeants not drill instructors. Seems to me you might be full of it.

      September 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. im dead anyway

    Viva Mexico cabrons!

    September 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jake

    Oh yeah I'm decayed, two degrees done while still supporting a family and having to deal with deployments. Oh yeah I actually work for a living and pay for all my own bills. Don't forget that I actually volunteered to enlist and very easily could have done the norm and partied in college for 4 years.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pirate011

      we don't all party for 4 years. i'd appreciate not making that generalization. I'm only 20 years old and about to graduate with a 4 year degree, so we aren't all college screw ups.

      September 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • shut up

      He didn't said you're a screw up you just didn't choose to enlist . get a job !!!!!! pay back your loan

      September 20, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. junior

    Our entire society is filled with people that should not be allowed to breath my air.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smoke

      Amen, They are just OXYGEN THIEFS! Plus three months is not long enough to get PTSD.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abe

      Yes, it is!

      September 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      Smoke-not saying this dude has PTSD, but 3 months is more than enough time to see some horrible things and come back a totally different person.

      September 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • @tux

      I would not want you breathing my air!

      September 19, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    We cannot be judgemental about the US military on the basis of these stray crazies.
    We are still the finest.
    However after the Iraq & Afghanistan disasters , casualties and rising suicides in the military, it became well nigh impossible to recruit. military started offering incentives and began massive ad campaigns attracting among others those who were just looking for a job & money and couldn't get that anywhere else, lacking the spirit.
    so we have these, whatever you call them.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jesse hernandez

    He chose to enlist & the government chose to accept him the way he is. he still needs to pay for what he has done & if his fellow soilders don't show some concern for his well being, than there not keeping to the oath they swore to the day they were sworn into a brother/sisterhood that gives up almost all their rights. i wonder whats so important about this one awol soilder when there are so many others. if u want out go awol for 3 months & you will do one week in the brigg & be discharged.

    September 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. woobie

    hey. quit with all the negative lets just hang him stuff. this young man needs help

    September 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. richard peralez

    Maybe the deployment did something to him. Most are not the same.

    September 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. HE-MAN

    poor guy, i hope he gets the help he needs. praying 4 u bro!!

    September 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. srm

    Without knowing more about this story it's hard to say what really happened here. IE. He was arrested for burglary. That could either have been him breaking into some place just to steal stuff or trying to get his own stuff back from a girlfriend. In both of those cases, he would be in the wrong for breaking in but both would be different in terms of punishment and what people would call justification. In the Army he will get punished under both UCMJ and New York State Law.

    My guess is his parent told him he was going to have to figure his own way out of this and he 'stole' their car to flee to Canada but didn't actually have a plan. There are thousands of guys in the Army that are what the rest of you people would consider kicked out of the house. The majority of them do their job. But out of every 100 guys there is at least one guy that simply gets in trouble all the time. The normally get kicked out fairly quickly.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Beetle bailey's lasted 60 years... And he was a drop-out

      September 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. b.a baracus

    Maybe buddy joined the A-Team!!

    September 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. conklin

    "Soldier! You're U.S. Government property. You're a malfunctioning $30 million weapon. You're a total catastrophe, and by Jebez, if it hurts me, you're going to tell me how this happened"

    September 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pirate011


      September 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Setz

    First, shame on all of you who blame the military – any branch of it – for creating this, or facilitating in its cause. The extreme cases don't make or break the rule, and that is seemingly what we're left with.
    That said, being uncertain of the entire scenario does make it a tad bit difficult to discern how to feel. A criminal is a criminal; service in the military ought not soften that fact. The best thing to do is simply hope that this man doesn't choose to injure himself.
    Or anyone else.

    September 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. funky bunch

    He was just another drifter who broke the law!

    September 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
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