Inmate Who Escaped Using Basketball Hoop Nabbed After Cops Say He Tried Robbing Bank
James Morales was taken back into custody Thursday.
The former Army reservist who escaped a Rhode Island prison with the help of a basketball hoop over the weekend is back behind bars after nearly a week on the run.
James Morales, who escaped Wyatt Correctional Facility on New Year's Eve, was captured in the Boston suburb of Somerville Thursday, according to Massachusetts police.
Prior to his capture, police said the 35-year-old was "probably" the suspect who attempted to rob a Bank of America in Cambridge Thursday morning.
The suspect left the branch with no money, cops said.
"The attempted bank robbery suspect resembles escaped fugitive James Morales," state police said Thursday morning, before the fugitive was captured by a state trooper
In a subsequent statement posted to their Facebook page, state police revealed they'd recaptured the fugitive and confirmed Morales was the suspect in the attempted robbery.
"Escaped fugitive James Morales was captured earlier today by troopers from the Troop A Community Action Team," the agency wrote. "Trooper Joseph Merrick spotted Morales after he attempted to rob a bank in Somerville and a foot pursuit ensued.
"After leaping several fences, trooper Merrick was able to grab Morales as he climbed another fence and pull him to the ground."
At a press conference Thursday, Merrick shrugged off suggestions that he's a hero for getting the dangerous fugitive back in custody.
"It was a great job by everybody just to get him off the street, a dangerous man," Merrick said. "It was a team effort. I’m glad I was able to help out.”
Morales fled the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island after the warden said he climbed a basketball hoop during recreation time, cut through a fence and then climbed to the facility's roof, where he walked through razor wire before shimmying down the side of the building.
Officials said video shows Morales making a break for it at about 7 p.m. Saturday.
Warden Daniel Martin said more than three hours went by before Morales’ disappearance was discovered. The inmate reportedly used some sort of tool to cut through the facility's fencing.
Morales is now back in custody awaiting trial for the alleged theft of 16 guns from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2015.
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