Manhunt launched in Ephrata after assault at courthouse

Joshua Maher

Two schools were on lockdown for several hours and residents in northwest Ephrata were told to stay inside and lock their doors after a man assaulted a security officer at the courthouse and fled into the town.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office deployed a police dog in the search for Joshua Maher but the K9 was unable to locate the suspect.

Ephrata High School and Grant Elementary were on lockdown for about three hours and other schools were taking precautionary measures during the manhunt.

Anyone who sees Maher is advised to call 9-1-1 and not try to apprehend him themselves.

At about 9:30 this morning, Maher allegedly assaulted a female Grant County Courthouse security officer at the public entrance security checkpoint, then fled into the northwest section of Ephrata.

The security guard suffered a possible leg injury and was transported to a local hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

Maher is 34 years old, stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 174 pounds. He has multiple tattoos on his back, neck and shoulders.

Maher was not in custody at the time of the attack, the sheriff’s office said, and was entering the courthouse through a public entrance.