Jail escapee back in custody

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Adan Orduno Jr. By Catherine Holland Adan Orduno Jr. By Catherine Holland
Adan Orduno By Catherine Holland Adan Orduno By Catherine Holland
Adan Orduno By Andrew Michalscheck Adan Orduno By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX (AP) -- Authorities on Sunday evening apprehended a man who had escaped from an Arizona jail hours earlier while being held on attempted murder and robbery charges.

Adan Orduno Jr., 26, was captured Sunday evening in Phoenix, said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff.

Orduno was being housed in the county jail's psychiatric unit when he was discovered missing around 6:00 a.m., according to Arpaio.  He also said Orduno had laid empty milk jugs covered in jail clothing on his bed to make it look as if he were sleeping.  Meanwhile, he climbed into the ceiling and crawled to freedom.  At some point, Arpaio said Orduno would have had to jump at least one fence topped with razor wire.

After escaping, Arpaio said Orduno convince a man driving by the jail that he was a recently released inmate who needed a ride.  The man gave him a ride away from the jail.

Arpaio credited good investigative work for the quick arrest, but didn't elaborate further on how deputies tracked Orduno down.

After deputies recaptured Orduno, he told them he had wanted to commit "suicide by cop," hoping to wave a gun at arresting officers in order to force them to shoot him.  However, Orduno was unarmed when he was arrested.

Deputies said the escape was the first for the 7-year-old south Phoenix facility.

Authorities originally thought Orduno might have been hiding somewhere at the sprawling jail, which also houses Arpaio's famous "tent city" lockup. But jail personnel searched the 600,000-square-foot complex and determined Orduno wasn't here.

The entire facility, which holds about 2,000 inmates, was placed on lockdown once detention officers discovered Orduno wasn't in his cell, the Arizona Republic reported. Authorities also warned the public to be on the lookout for Orduno, whom the sheriff had described as a violent "troublemaker."

Orduno has served time in state prison for burglary, theft and aggravated assault, online state records show.

He was being held at the Maricopa County jail on attempted murder and robbery charges. The Republic reported the charges stemmed from an October 2011 robbery at a Phoenix jewelry store that led to a police chase in which either Orduno or an accomplice fired at pursuing officers. No one was injured.

Orduno had been in custody since Phoenix police arrested him Nov. 4, 2011, and he recently was declared competent to stand trial.

He now faces new charges related to the escape, Arpaio said.

Additional details about Orduno's capture and how he was able to escape were not immediately available.

Deputy Chief Brian Lee, another sheriff's spokesman, said the cell that Orduno occupied at the jail's psychiatric ward had a small window. Detention officers look through the windows every 15 minutes to check on inmates, per department protocol, he said.

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