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. alumette

    he is evidently a distressed young man...confused, afraid, poor with no values and sense of right, wrong and belonging. He likely will stay in hiding or will hurt others including himself. Not a winning situation here.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kc chill

    What a story this guy is an untrained undisiplined boot . Nothing more than a street thug, that joined the militry for a pay check. A wielly story sort of comical nothing really great though,another self centers person who is about themself.A' lot of money spent, wasted and lost on an idiot, paid for by the American tax payer and we wonder why their are no jobs in a week economy.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nelson

    Any amount of time can cause PTSD.

    September 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • The2Shoes

      Persons in uniform should/do receive utmost respect for serving our country. But just bc an individual wears a uniform it does NOT give them the freedom to go on a crime spree and run from police or military custody. His job in uniform is to serve and protect our country..so while out of uniform he chooses to be center stage of a high-speed police chase that puts the public's safety in jeopardy?? Obviously this man has done something dishonorable to have only served in Afghanistan for a 5 month term when the MINIMUM term is of 12 months. Seriously though, look back at the media coverage pertaining to soldiers in the past few years; it contains story coverages mostly of soldiers committing crimes ranging of robbery all the way to murder. Other than the "higher profile" cases, claiming PTSD as a defensive strategy usually results in agreeing to enter counseling/therapy/anger-management and that's it(as long as the soldier(s) in question served in either Iraq or Afghanistan). I'm sorry..I FULLY support our soldiers, as I do have family in the service, but that does NOT come with a "get out of jail free" card.

      September 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      if your big brother held you down and spit in your mouth as a kid, you could have PTSD. on the other side of the coin, many soldier see and do atrocious things, and do not suffer PTSD. its a sign of a weak mind.

      September 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Spidermonkey

    When was the last time you went to war? Every time i see a person in dress i think them do you?probablynot i would proudly have blood on my hands to fight to protect future gens, always respect the uniform, reguardless of who wears it, just a simple thank you once in a while. They are all heros in any book. So some day every one should take a walk through your VA hospital,say thank you, and give a hug to every one you see and you will also see thateven the lost vets are present to.these men need our support .and respect, so whats so damm hard about that.i had several uncles that served in ww 2 and they got the utmost respect from me . These were true men thats how i learned to respect our men that serve.this manis apprehanded he needs help now not years down the road so he can rejointhe ranks of the respected

    September 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abe

      You will have my respect when you learn how to spell.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      No excuses, please.

      September 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tom

    Less donuts + increased exercise = catching the escapee

    September 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 100% ETH STRONGER

    I just want say, RESPECT!! The American Soldiers. They worth a lot.
    We got here in America, stand by Middle Eastern and Asian enemies, who are RUNNING Gay Station and Motel Businesses. Just because they have a Money, they make US fun.

    September 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      No excuses for breaking the law, please.

      September 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 100% ETH STRONGER

    I just want to say, RESPECT!! The American Soldiers. They worth a lot.
    We got here in America, stand by Middle Eastern and Asian enemies, who are RUNNING Gay Station and Motel Businesses. Just because they have a Money, they make US fun.

    September 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Myanmar

    Even 1 day in battle could have lasting effects on a person's psyche. Let's cut our vets some slack. Why is this national news? He commited a petty crime, next will there be a national manhunt like he is a murderer? This soldier was able to escape because he is In better shape than chasing cops.

    September 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • The2Shoes

      OK...I'm not sure if burglary laws are different from state to state, but in Ohio burglary is NOT a petty crime- it's a FELONY. Also.."High-speed police chase" and/or evading the police??...also a felony..There isn't anything petty about either of these crimes. This guy is a disgrace to the United States military uniform. He's suppose to be a role model for ppl to stand up and fight for what you believe in and to honor/support/defend your country and your fellow Americans. There's nothing honorable about this man or his actions, having served in Afghanistan or soldier or not. Let's just hope he doesn't have any little nieces or nephews or any children/teenagers in his family/friends circle that looks up to him.. It's a let-down.

      September 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. car hauler

    Ryan is respected as a soldier but you can't come home and become a petty thief! That just disrespects the uniform!!! That's not how we're trained! If things were that bad he should have reached out to his parents or his unit!!!

    September 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • The2Shoes

      @car hauler- I couldn't agree with you more. I'm tired of ppl using this man's uniform as an excuse or exception...thank you

      September 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Derp

    All your soldier respecting BS goes out th window when you turn yourself into a common thief...And this is coming from a soldier.

    September 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rhonda

    We should all be respected, soldiers even more BUT, that does not give a soldier the right to come back and disgrace himself, family, the uniform by becoming a thief, murderer, abuser, etc. There is so much help out there that the person needs to step forward and ask for it or if someone sees they need it they are just as wrong for not saying something to help that person. No, I am not in the military but my son is a Marine, my husband Airforce, my dad Army and father in law Navy. They havent come back attacking anyone, etc and then blaming it on the war etc. You take responsibility for your actions.

    September 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rhonda

    Although I know that there are soldiers out there whom are afftected by PTSD. Its no excuse to cause havoc on yourself, family, society and to use that as an excuse actually shows stupidity on your part.

    September 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Court

    Most of you don't realize most people are already messed up before they join the military. The service is full of people who don't deserve respect, and very few who do. I'm not surprised at all by reading this.

    September 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neal


      You speak from ignorance. To make blanket statements such as this are not only offensive, but show the truly sad state of mind you reside in. As a veteran, I am proud of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. This youth has obviously done wrong and should accept responsibility for his actions. Please do not waste your time posting petty words from a small mind – stay in your shallow hole of a life and die quietly and you will do us all a favor.

      September 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      one does not become a hero simply by joining the military. a persons status as a heroic figure is based upon his actions in the line of duty. many join because they want to kill something, some others because they face some petty charges that judges are eager to wipe clean upon thier enlistment, still more only wish to make money for college or get a job. very few join under the premise of saving lives and ensuring freedoms. while the uniform will get you respected in some circles, it is not absolute. you are not an "automatic hero". this guy threw it all away over nothing, so any respect he gained as a soldier in afghanistan, was quickly lost. his past service does not offer any excuse for his current criminal behavior. PTSD didnt seem to affect as many soldiers in actual wars like WWII, or Vietnam, than it does in todays middle-east skirmishes. i wonder if in the future when all our conflicts are automated, these kids will come out of thier computer rooms claiming PTSD in record numbers.

      September 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Soldiers if there not beating their wives/kids trying to fake PTSD, taking drugs, getting DUI's, getting DADT passed, stealing/robbing there running off into the woods! The best Army in the world, maybe the most rejects of any Army!

    September 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    Dear CNN,

    This man already surrendered to authorities. Update your page.

    September 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
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