14 Inmates Successfully Organize Jail Break After Gov Issues Stay-Home Order, 1 Still at Large
Law enforcement officials from Yakima County in Washington state and the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force jumped into action when 14 inmates at the county jail escaped on the same day that a COVID-19 stay-at-home order was issued by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
Sheriff Robert Udell said 14 inmates at the Yakima County Jail used a table to break down a fire exit door and escaped by climbing over a fence on Monday night around 7 p.m.
As of Thursday afternoon, however, only one inmate — 31-year-old Fernando Castaneda-Sandoval — was still on the run.
The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office has kept the public informed since the incident occurred by posting regular updates on social media.
Moses Lake police reported the capture of the 13th escaped inmate, Miguel A. Chavez-Amezcua, during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon.
Authorities made the arrest with the help of Washington State Patrol troopers, U.S. Marshals, Grant County and Adams County deputies.
Almost immediately after the jailbreak Monday, authorities were able to capture eight of the 14 escapees.
By Tuesday, six inmates were still unaccounted for, and the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office turned to the public for help.
In a Facebook video, Sheriff Udell held up photos of the six inmates, and asked for the public’s help to find them.
“About 7 o’clock, several inmates, in excess of 12 inmates, decided that they were no longer going to be housed in the Yakima County Jail and they decided to break down a door and leave,” Udell said.
“Despite the governor’s shelter-in-place, or stay-at-home order, apparently, they didn’t want to do that. So they are out and about and we need your help to get these guys back in custody.”
“Help us get these guys back in the Yakima County Jail where they’ll be safe,” Udell said.
Two more inmates were captured Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office, followed by three others on Thursday.
In an update Thursday evening, the sheriff’s office announced Castaneda-Sandoval was the final inmate still on the run, and explained the reward for his capture had gone up.
ABC News reported that all of the escaped inmates were alleged low-level offenders with charges ranging from possession of an unlicensed firearm to reckless driving.
The U.S. Marshals Service is asking for help catching Castaneda-Sandoval and is offering up to $3,000 for information leading to the capture of the inmate.
Any tips can be made to the U.S. Marshals tip hotline at 1-866-865-TIPS, to Yakima County Crime Stoppers at (800) 248-9980 or www.crimestoppersyakco.org or to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.
UPDATE, March 27, 2020: This article has been updated to include additional information from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office regarding the capture of the final escaped inmate.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.