The U.S. Marshals Service and the Berkeley Police Department arrested a non-compliant sex offender Tuesday who had been wanted on a warrant out of Washington state after escaping from a “community custody” program there in October, according to authorities.

George Blair, 35, originally was convicted in California after being found guilty of lewd and lascivious acts with two boys, ages 6 and 9.

Officers arrested Blair at a protest camp near the North Berkeley Safeway, at 1444 Shattuck Place, that had been set up by critics of the city’s approach to allocating services to the homeless.

The U.S. Marshals Service told BPD that Blair had escaped from a community custody program in Spokane and been at-large since October, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, BPD spokesman.

Tuesday, shortly after noon, sex offender investigators from the marshals got in touch with BPD to ask for help to find Blair. They said they believed he was living in a homeless camp in the 1400 block of Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.

Officers from both agencies responded to the camp at about 2:15 p.m. where they found Blair and arrested him without incident, said Frankel.

According to online records from the Spokane County sheriff’s office, Blair was convicted in Washington state in 2013 and 2014 after failing to register as a sex offender.

Those convictions followed an earlier case in California, in 1999, when Blair was found guilty of committing lewd or lascivious acts with two children. His victims were identified as two boys, ages 6 and 9.

According to the Alameda County sheriff’s office, Blair is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...