A “FOOLISH” driver ran away from a police car when officers tried to arrest him.
Simon Pugh, 23, made a run for it before police could caution him on suspicion of having an offensive weapon.
It was after they discovered a large piece of wood in his Audi after police pulled him over on Station Lane, in Seaton Carew.
It took cops another day to track him down at home when he was finally arrested.
He was ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work for his actions by a judge at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said police became suspicious of a two-feet length of wood that Pugh had by the driver’s seat.
Miss Masters said: “Officers attempted to caution and arrest the defendant.
“He got out of his vehicle and into the back of a police vehicle but he was able to get out of an insecure door.
“He ran away from the scene and was pursued by police officers however they couldn’t find him.”
He went to a friend’s house in Berwick Street for a couple of hours before returning home where he was arrested the following day.
Pugh, of Forester Close, Seaton Carew, pleaded guilty to escaping from custody.
The initial charge of having an offensive weapon, which Pugh denied, was dropped by the prosecution.
He said it was in connection with building work he was helping his dad with.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said: “He doesn’t seem to have committed any particular crime when he was stopped. It was his car, he was driving legally and he was insured.
“He panicked and he apologises for his stupidity.”
Mr Withyman added the offence was at the lower scale of seriousness for its type.
Judge Peter Armstrong said: “It was very foolish to run away when you were arrested by the police.
“No doubt you would have been taken to the police station and released on bail but it’s clear that you panicked and ran off.
“Where people in custody in prison or court run away or escape, usually it results in a prison sentence but I think this was just a foolish escapade on your behalf.”