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Entries in Escape (12)

Sunday
Jan272013

Rocky Marquez: Nationwide Manhunt for Escaped Inmate

ABC News(DETROIT) -- A nationwide manhunt is underway for a career criminal who has twice escaped from jail by switching identities with other inmates.

Authorities did not notice Rocky Marquez, 34, was missing from a Detroit jail until five days after he walked out the front door undetected.

"Mr. Marquez does have a bit of a head start, but we have the best of the best working on this case and I'm confident Rocky will be put behind bars," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Frederick J. Freeman.

A fugitive apprehension team along with the U.S. Marshals and other police agencies are searching for Marquez.

According to police, on Jan. 20, Marquez switched ID wristbands with another inmate, who was about to be freed on bond. Marquez then simply walked out of the Wayne County jail.

"He's smarter than your average criminal. He's somehow getting inmates to cooperate with him to use their identities to walk out of jail," Freeman said.

This was not the first time Marquez staged a jailbreak.

According to U.S. Marshal David Gonzalez, Marquez pulled the same stunt in a Phoenix prison eight months ago when he switched wristbands with another inmate who he had befriended and who had a similar complexion and build.

"He obviously has a penchant for getting out of jail and wanting to stay out of jail, but hopefully we can put an end to that run here soon," Gonzalez said.

Marquez was arrested in Detroit after the U.S. Marshals tracked a car they believed he was using to the city.

Marquez, whose criminal record includes drug smuggling, perjury and witness tampering, was awaiting extradition to Phoenix when he escaped last week.

Officials from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office said there would be an investigation into the reasons for Marquez's escape.

"We have policies and procedures in place that should have prevented something like this from happening," the sheriff's office told ABC News.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan042013

Chicago Prison Escape: Second of Two Bank Robbers Arrested

Kevin Horan/Stone(CHICAGO) -- A convicted bank robber who escaped jail before Christmas is back in custody.  

Kenneth Conley, 38, one of two inmates who escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago on Dec. 18, was taken into custody at an apartment complex in the suburb of Palos Hills Friday evening.  The other man, Joseph "Jose" Banks, 37, was captured just two days after the escape.  

Banks and Conley were last seen Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. during a prison head count at the correctional center in downtown Chicago's Loop district.  The two borrowed a move from the film Escape From Alcatraz by stuffing their beds with clothes in the shape of bodies.

The men then broke the window of their cell at the federal prison, shimmying out a hole only inches wide, and scaled 17 stories down the side of the building, all the while holding onto a rope of sheets and towels taken from the prison.  The rope was strong enough to support the two, one weighing 165 pounds the other 185 pounds.

At 7 a.m. the next morning, as employees arrived at work, they noticed the sheets left dangling from the building and discovered that Conley and Banks were missing.

Investigators said surveillance cameras captured Banks and Conley getting into a taxi minutes after their brazen escape.  They entered the taxi at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Congress Street, just blocks away from the jail.

The men then showed up at the home of Sandy Conley, Kenneth Conley's mother, in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Ill., on Tuesday morning, only five hours after they escaped.

"He was in the house for two minutes," Sandy Conley told ABC News on Thursday.  "I can't tell you if he was armed.  I made him get out."

It is unclear what connection, if any, Conley might have to the Palos Hills apartment complex where he was apprehended.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec212012

Chicago Prison Escape: One of Two Bank Robbers Arrested

Kevin Horan/Stone(CHICAGO) -- One of the two Chicago bank robbers who escaped from a high-rise federal jail in Chicago this week using a makeshift rope to rappel down the building has been arrested.

Joseph "Jose" Banks, 37, was arrested late Thursday around 11:30 p.m. local time without incident in Chicago, according to an FBI news release.

Agents and officers from the Chicago FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force, along with officers from the Chicago Police Department, made the arrest.  Banks was unarmed.

Authorities are still looking for Kenneth Conley, who escaped the Metropolitan Correctional Center with Banks sometime early Tuesday morning.

Banks and Conley, 38, were last seen Monday at 10 p.m. during a prison head count at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago's Loop district.  The two borrowed a move from the film Escape From Alcatraz by stuffing their beds with clothes in the shape of bodies.

The men then broke the window of their cell at the federal prison, shimmying out a hole only inches wide, and scaled 17 stories down the side of the building, all the while holding onto a rope of sheets and towels taken from the prison.  The rope was strong enough to support the two, one weighing 165 pounds the other 185 pounds.

At 7 a.m. the next morning, as employees arrived at work, they noticed the sheets left dangling from the building and discovered that Conley and Banks were missing.

Investigators said surveillance cameras captured Banks and Conley getting into a taxi minutes after their brazen escape.  They entered the taxi at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Congress Street, just blocks away from the jail.

The men then showed up at the home of Sandy Conley, Kenneth Conley's mother, in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Ill., on Tuesday morning, only five hours after they escaped.

"He was in the house for two minutes," Sandy Conley told ABC News on Thursday.  "I can't tell you if he was armed.  I made him get out."

Banks, nicknamed "the second-hand bandit" because of the used clothing disguises he wore in several robberies, was convicted of armed robbery last week.  His parting words to his judge, Rebecca Pallmeyer, were, "I'll be seeking retribution as well as damages ... you'll hear from me."

Conley had been in jail for several years.

Pallmeyer and others who presided over the men's cases have reportedly been offered protection.  The FBI and U.S. Marshals were offering a combined reward of $60,000 to find the inmates and bring them back into custody.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov242012

Camel Roams Southern California Streets After Escaping Circus

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- A circus camel roamed the streets of a Southern California city after it escaped from its handlers.

The camel is part of the Ramos Bros. Circus and the incident started during some exercises Friday afternoon.

“Somebody dropped a wrench and one of them got scared,” said Douglas Ramos, co-owner of Ramos Bros. Circus.

The camel ran out of its tent and onto Glendale city streets.

“Literally there was 10 people running after this camel, it was craziness on the street, I heard kids yelling and screaming,” witness Diana Madison told ABC News Los Angeles station KABC.

The camel ran into a gas station and was lured back to the circus with a carrot, unharmed.

Ramos joked that maybe the camel just wanted to get in some Black Friday shopping.

“You know, we do this every day. This time I guess she just wanted to go shopping or something, I don’t know. Black Friday deals,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep272012

Escaped Killer James Ladd Caught, Survived on Acorns for Five Days

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(HALIFAX, N.C.) -- An escaped killer from a North Carolina prison survived on the lam for five days eating acorns and was captured Thursday when he ventured into a town looking for water, authorities told ABC News.

James Ladd, 51, was captured in the garage of a home just 10 miles from the Tillery Correctional Center, the minimum security prison farm in Halifax, N.C., which he escaped from on Sunday morning.

Authorities received a tip that Ladd was in the area and began searching when a passersby pointed them to the garage where a man matching Ladd's description had been spotted, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

Ladd "was on his own" and did not appear to have received help, Acree said.

When Ladd was discovered he was wearing his black prison-issued trousers and a coat that he acquired outside the prison, Acree said.

Ladd told authorities he had "been rambling in the woods," surviving on acorns and entered town to look for water.

Ladd, convicted of the 1980 robbery and shooting death of two men in Yadkin County, had been sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. On account of good behavior in prison for 31 years, he had been transferred to a minimum security prison farm. Authorities found his abandoned tractor at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, leading to a statewide manhunt.

Bloodhounds quickly lost his scent and helicopters were unable to spot him.

Ladd was captured two days after his mother, Lena Ladd, told ABC News that her son was "smart enough" to stay on the lam without getting caught.

He is currently being held at the central prison in Raleigh and has been charged with escape.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep252012

Escaped Killer's Mom Says James Ladd 'Smart Enough' to Evade Capture

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HALIFAX, N.C.) -- The mother of a convicted killer who escaped from a North Carolina prison farm said Tuesday her son is "smart enough" to remain on the lam without getting caught.

State authorities have launched a massive manhunt for James Ladd, 51, who walked off the grounds of a minimum-security prison farm on Sunday. Ladd was sentenced to serve three life sentences for the 1980 shooting deaths of two men in Yadkin County.

"No, I haven't heard from him. I don't know where he is," said a sobbing Lena Ladd, 69, when contacted by ABC News.

Her son has been in prison for 31 years, but Lena Ladd said that won't be a problem for her son. She said he is "smart enough" to still be able to evade the police.

Lena Ladd would not say if she had been in regular contact with her son over the course of his imprisonment.

She said she "couldn't sleep at all" since learning her son had escaped.

Ladd walked off the grounds Sunday morning of the Tillery Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison farm in Halifax, N.C. Authorities found the tractor he'd been riding abandoned at 10 a.m.

Police dogs were able to track Ladd's scent only a short distance before the trail went cold, suggesting he may have gotten in a car, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the state prison system. Helicopters also searched the area.

"The search is continuing," Acree told ABC News. "But if he got in a car on Sunday, he could be hundreds of miles away."

Authorities said he caused few problems during his time in prison, being disciplined for only minor infractions, including most recently unauthorized tobacco use. That record of good behavior earned him a bunk at a minimum-security prison and permission to work outside.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug122012

CJ the Chimp Escapes Into Neighborhood Again

ABC News(LAS VEGAS, Nev.) -- A pet chimpanzee escaped from her enclosure for the second time in a month, prompting officials to remove her from her Las Vegas neighborhood home.

Animal Control officers used tranquilizer darts to sedate CJ the chimp, but they didn't return her to her owners. First, she was transported to a zoo, and then another private citizen offered to keep CJ in a cage designed for large cats, like lions or tigers, according to ABC Las Vegas affiliate KNTV.

"This looks like we're complete idiots," Timmi DeRosa, who owns the chimp, told KTNV. "Like how the hell could the other chimp get out?"

The first time CJ escaped her enclosure was in July, when she and fellow adult chimp Buddy roamed the neighborhood, banging on cars and terrorizing neighbors. When Buddy tried to leave the police perimeter and walk into a crowd of onlookers, Sgt. Andrew Legrow shot and killed him, according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department press release. Legrow has been on the force for 27 years.

One 911 caller told police, "They are wandering down the street. They are dangerous. Bring shotguns. They are wild animals."

This time, officers knew what to do, and although CJ pulled out the tranquilizer dart, she walked into a vacant home with her handler and fell asleep without incident, according to KTNV.

DeRosa said she suspects someone else may have opened the cage because July's incident prompted a political discussion about banning exotic animals as pets.

"We have gotten calls that people want to let CJ out so they can pass the law in Las Vegas, and I just hope to God that nobody tampered with the cage," DeRosa told KTNV.

A county commissioner altered their policy on exotic animal ownership on Aug. 7, adding a requirement to renew permits for wild animals, and include regular inspections of animal enclosures and better neighbor notification, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. They also require that the property owner own the animal. DeRosa owns CJ, but the chimp was kept in an enclosure on property owned by Sheri and David Potochan.

Nevada state Sen. Michael Roberson (R-Las Vegas) is also drafting a statewide ban on exotic animals, according to KTNV.

Even before the escape this weekend, plans were already in the works to move CJ to a sanctuary in Oregon as a result of the July escape.

"Everything was planned," DeRosa told KTNV. "She was going to have her going away party."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

WATCH: Prisoner Busts Out of Kentucky Jail Cell -- and Into Court

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- A suspect trying to escape from a Louisville, Ky., cell recently got quite a surprise when he pushed through a door.

The inmate, whose name has not been released, had attacked a deputy during a court hearing Monday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, according to ABC News affiliate WHAS-TV.

He was then put into a holding cell. When a deputy tried to remove another inmate from that cell, the suspect forced his way out.

He and the deputy then crashed through a door and into a courtroom that was in session.  The suspect reportedly managed to get 20 feet from the deputy before court bailiffs seized him.

The county sheriff’s office said that nobody in the courtroom was in danger. The inmate is now charged with attempted escape and assault.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar212012

Tennessee Death Row Inmate's Escape Plot Foiled

Tennessee Department of Correction(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- Authorities in Tennessee have foiled an escape plot by the state's only female death row inmate.

Two men, including one former prison guard, have also been arrested in connection with the plan.

Justin Heflin and Donald Kohut were arrested this week and charged with planning the escape of Christa Gail Pike.

Pike, 36, was sentenced to death in March of 1996 for murdering 19-year-old Colleen Slemmer in Knoxville, in 1995. She is also serving time for attempting to murder a fellow inmate in 2004, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Today, all three are behind bars.

"Interrupting a plot like this before the escape is attempted is crucial to keeping Tennesseans safe," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Mark Gwyn said in a news release. "The last thing law enforcement wants is a dangerous fugitive on the streets."

Heflin, 23, worked as a correctional officer at the Tennessee Prison for Women until he was terminated on March 5, 2012. In February, a grand jury indicted him on charges of bribery, official misconduct, conspiracy to commit escape and facilitation to commit escape. Heflin is currently being held in Davidson County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

The third member of the alleged escape-planning trio was Kohut, 34. He met Heflin on one of his frequent trips to the prison to visit Pike. He was arrested Monday morning and is being held at the Hunterdon County Department of Corrections on a $250,000 bond. He has been charged with counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit escape.

Authorities initiated the investigation after receiving information about the escape plan. They found contraband evidence within the jail and discovered that Heflin might be involved. The investigation revealed that he had been receiving gifts and money for his assistance in plotting the escape, the release said.

"Our mission of operating safe and secure prisons is our main focus and we will continue to examine and follow every lead to accomplish our mission," Commissioner Derrick D. Schofield said in a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec052011

Escaped Inmate Hunting for Two People in Maine, Police Say

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ALFRED, Maine) -- An escaped inmate described as armed, dangerous and seeking revenge is hunting for two people in Maine, authorities said Monday.

David Glenn Hobson, 33, has eluded a dragnet since he escaped from a New Hampshire prison on Thursday.

"He's holding a grudge against two individuals," Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland told ABCNews.com. "We warned them early and we believe they're in a safe place."

McCausland would not reveal any details about who the two people are or what they may have done to anger Hobson. Federal, state and county authorities are participating in the manhunt.

There have been no confirmed sightings of Hobson but he is believed to be in the vicinity of the towns of Alfred and Sanford where his relatives live.

Hobson's father Glenn Hobson was arrested Friday night for a charge of hindering apprehension. McCausland said he left clothing, a blanket and medical supplies outside his home for his son to pick up, but not a weapon. Police believe he obtained a weapon from somewhere else. Glenn Hobson has since been released after posting a $500 bail.

Hobson's mother Louann Hobson picked up the phone on Monday and confirmed that it was her before hanging up abruptly when ABC News called.

David Hobson has several relatives in Alfred, Maine, which has led authorities to believe he may be in the area. Police are warning residents in the area to be cautious and aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious behavior.

Hobson escaped prison by scaling a 12-foot fence topped with razor wire while he was in the prison's recreational area, according to Jason Johnson, the superintendent for the Carroll County House of Corrections in Ossipee, N.H.

"We did recover a bloody shirt outside the jail and the [recovered] stolen vehicle had some blood in it as well," Johnson said.

Hobson was being held in the facility for burglary charges and his pre-trial was scheduled for later this month.

On Saturday evening, the Maine State Police recovered a Toyota Highlander SUV that Hobson had allegedly stole. It was found in a heavily wooded area of Maine. Bloody clothing found inside the car has yet to be processed, but McCausland said authorities believe the clothing to be Hobson's.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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