REDWOOD CITY -- A onetime radical who fled California following a 1968 gunbattle with South San Francisco police has been released from jail after eight months.

Ronald Bridgeforth, 68, was sentenced in March to one year in San Mateo County jail for opening fire on two officers in a crowded parking lot. He served two-thirds of the sentence with good behavior.

Bridgeforth must remain in the Bay Area for the next three years as part of his probation and perform 300 hours of community service tutoring at-risk children. He declined an interview request through attorney Paul Harris, who said his client wants to resume his career as a counselor.

"He wants to go back to counseling and teaching," Harris said. "During his time in jail, he counseled a number of fellow inmates who came to him for advice."

Bridgeforth bounced around for several years after the 1968 shootout, which did not cause any injuries to police or bystanders. He settled down in Michigan in 1975 and assumed the name Cole Lee Jordan. He raised two children with his wife, Diane, and found a job as a counselor at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. He turned himself in to police in 2011 after more than 40 years as a fugitive.

At a March hearing in San Mateo County Superior Court, Bridgeforth apologized for the crime and said he tried in his second life to make up for it. The District Attorney's Office pushed for a five-year state prison sentence, but Judge Lisa Novak gave Bridgeforth credit for having turned himself in.


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Contact Aaron Kinney at 650-348-4357. Follow him at Twitter.com/kinneytimes.