Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 11, 2011

Man captured with local girl in critical condition after jailhouse jump

McFate faces multiple charges in connection with earlier incident

by Glenn Wohltmann

The man connected to a Pleasanton teen who went missing for several days last week is in critical condition following an apparent suicide attempt Monday night.

Gavin McFate, 25, was arrested Sunday morning after he and Shelby Harris, 15, were located at a motel in Westley, Calif., following an anonymous tip to police. It is not known whether Harris was with McFate voluntarily, but McFate was wanted on an Alameda County warrant on prior charges that included unlawful intercourse with a minor and lewd acts with a child under 14.

McFate was on his way Monday night to the showers at Santa Rita Jail when he tried to kill himself, according to Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

"He jumped off the tier to the ground below," Nelson said, explaining that the jump was equivalent to diving head first off the second story of a building. "He's in bad shape."

McFate had been set for an arraignment Tuesday. He had not been charged in connection to Harris' disappearance but faces a total of four earlier sexually related charges, along with a charge of using a minor to carry or sell drugs and one count of possession of a non-narcotic controlled substance, which is typically connected to methamphetamine possession.

Harris, a 15-year-old Amador Valley High School student, went missing on Halloween day. She and McFate were spotted Nov. 1 in the Concord area.

Harris was returned safely to her parents after the pair was seen Sunday at a motel near Interstate 5 in Westley, which is in Stanislaus County, about 45 miles away. Pleasanton police made the trip to the motel where they captured McFate and brought Harris home.

McFate had been ordered held on $1.8 million bail. He's currently being treated at a local hospital, which has not been named.

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