PEARL RIVER, La. (WGNO) — In a failed attempt to evade Louisiana authorities, a suspect wanted for several crimes, was captured and arrested Wednesday.

38-year-old Earnest Day was taken into custody by St. Tammany deputies with the help of the U.S. Marshal’s Service after a failure to appear for his December court date for a crime from 17 years ago.

In 2005, Day was convicted of a sexual offense that required him to register as a sex offender after being released from jail in Nov. 2022, but he failed to do so. In Feb. 2022, he was arrested again for:

  • One count of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
  • One count of Disarming a Police Officer
  • Two counts of Resisting a Police Officer with Force
  • Two counts of Violence and Batter of a Police Officer Resulting in an Injury that Required Medical Attention

On Wednesday (Feb. 9) detectives learned Day was possibly living with his girlfriend, who was reported missing, at a home on East Porters River Road in Pearl River. The U.S. Marshals accompanied deputies to the address to arrest Day and locate his girlfriend.

When they arrived Day ran out of the back door and jumped into the nearby Brock Ham Bayou but the water was too deep for him and he went under. Marine teams were called in to rescue Day, who was clinging to tree branches to stay up.

“You can run; you can hide; you can even attempt to swim across a bayou, but what you can’t do is get away from St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies.”

He was rescued, arrested and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center. His girlfriend was released after being removed form the system and deemed safe.

“This is a perfect example of agencies and divisions working together to use every resource available to ensure a very dangerous criminal with a history of victimizing a child and injuring deputies is located, captured and taken off our streets so he can be held accountable for his crimes,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “I thank everyone involved.”