Payette County Sheriff

The Payette County Sheriff's Office is housed inside the County Courthouse, pictured here.

PAYETTE — An 39-year-old woman is on the run today after escaping from Washington County deputies outside the Payette County Court House just after noon Thursday.

According to Payette County Sheriff’s Capt. Toby Hauntz, Sarah Fern Frisch was attending drug court at the Payette County Courthouse, which serves as a hub for the multi-jurisdictional program.

As she had violated her drug court, Judge Brian Lee added 30 days to Frisch’s sentence for not complying. She was subsequently held over at Payette County Jail until Washington County deputies could pick her up to transport her back.

Once inside a van to be transported back, Frisch “got out of the van, handcuffed, and took off running,” Hauntz said. Because there were other inmates in the van being transported back to Washington County, the sole deputy in the van couldn’t leave and chase Frisch.

The van hadn’t left the Payette Courthouse complex yet and was still in the parking lot near the Department of Motor Vehicles, Hauntz said, however, by the time the incident was relayed to Payette County deputies, it was too late.

“Our guys got right out there, but she got across the fields and she didn’t get caught,” he said.

As the escape happened at their facility, Payette County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation.

“We will get a warrant for felony escape today from the prosecutor,” Hauntz said, adding that she could just be arrested on the probation violation.

Although he wasn’t certain what crime Frisch had committed in Washington County to end up in the drug court program, Hauntz said she will now face more charges.

To this he added, “she’ll turn up, I’m sure.”

A call to Washington County Sheriff Matt Thomas to confirm Frisch’s previous charges was not returned by press time.

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