PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona inmate being held on attempted murder and robbery charges escaped from his jail cell Sunday before detectives apprehended him hours later in downtown Phoenix, said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Adan Orduno Jr. gained access to an overhead crawl space by tearing open a hole in the ceiling of his county jail cell, Arpaio said. The crawl space eventually led the 26-year-old inmate to a fence, which he climbed to escape the facility, Arpaio said. Orduno was discovered missing just before 9 a.m. and authorities captured him around 6:15 p.m., according to the sheriff.
"We were fortunate to arrest him quickly," Arpaio said.
Orduno was being questioned by authorities late Sunday and booked on suspicion of escape, the Arizona Republic reported. Officer Christopher Hegstrom, a sheriff's spokesman, said the escape was the first for the 7-year-old south Phoenix facility.
Before his escape, Orduno stripped off his black-and-white jail stripes, placed the suit and milk cartons on his bed and then draped a blanket over the top in an attempt to lead officers to believe he was in his cell sleeping, according to the sheriff.
"He probably escaped with the pink underwear I make all these guys wear," Arpaio said.
The Arizona lawman, who rose to prominence by toughening conditions in his jails, famously forces inmates to wear striped jail suits and pink underwear. The inmates also are banned from cigarettes and porn magazines.
After Orduno jumped the county jail fence, a driver apparently saw him, picked him up and took the suspect to his mother's house, Arpaio said. The suspect was able to change into jeans and a jacket.