One of the six inmates who used a homemade rope to escape from a jail in California over the weekend was arrested on Tuesday, officials said.
Edgar Ventura, 22 of Portland, Ore., was “apprehended without incident” a little after 3 p.m. in Firebaugh, about 30 miles south of the Merced County Downtown Jail, from which he and five other inmates had escaped late Saturday night, officials said. It was unclear how he had been caught.
Mr. Ventura was transported back the to Merced County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, the office said in a statement. He is now being held in the Merced County sheriff’s main jail, according to jail records.
Mr. Ventura was being held on charges of possession of a firearm and violation of probation, according to officials. He is now facing at least one additional charge related to the escape, according to jail records.
Telephone and email messages left on Tuesday night for the Merced County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned.
Officials are still looking for the five other men, who range in age from 19 to 22 and had been held on charges including murder, attempted murder and reckless driving. The sheriff’s office is offering a reward of up to $5,000 per person for any information leading to the arrests of the escapees.
The jail staff noticed on Sunday morning about 8:30 a.m. that the men were missing, Sheriff Vern Warnke said in a news conference on Sunday.
Based on an initial investigation, he said, officials believe they escaped just before midnight.
The six men were housed together in a nine-person cell inside the jail’s gang housing unit. They were last seen on video surveillance around 11:30 p.m., Sheriff Warnke said.
After that time, the men gained access to the jail’s roof, the sheriff said. From there, they used a rope made of braided bedsheets to scale a wall and landed about 20 feet down in an alley between the jail and another building.
From there, the men fled, and officials said they did not expect the men to stay together.
“This jail is very antiquated,” the sheriff said at the news conference, adding that it “was not meant to house the type of inmate that we have now.”
The other men who escaped are Jorge Barron, 20; Gabriel Francis Coronado, 19; Manuel Allen Leon, 21; Andres Nunez Rodriguez Jr., 21; and Fabian Cruz Roman, 22.
Mr. Roman has been charged with murder. Mr. Coronado and Mr. Rodriguez have both been charged with attempted murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. Mr. Leon’s charges were assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and reckless driving. Mr. Barron had been charged with violating his probation.