Escapees Fought About Killing Cabbie: Sheriff

California prison inmates allegedly drove him up to San Jose
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2016 5:55 PM CST
Escapees Fought About Killing Cabbie: Sheriff
In this still frame from video provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, deputies escort Hossein Nayeri back to the Central Men's jail in Santa Ana, Calif., in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.   (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)

Three fugitives who broke out of a California jail in January—and were captured about a week later—apparently kidnapped a taxi driver and got in a physical fight about whether to kill him. That's one claim authorities made today about the remarkably complex breakout, the AP reports. Among others:

  • Two of the escapees—Hossein Nayeri, 37, and Jonathan Tieu, 20—plotted the escape for six months or more, says Orange County Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Hallock. The third, Bac Duong, 43, arrived at Mens' Central Jail last December, KTLA reports. (See Hallock's timeline of events here.)
  • The escapees allegedly stole a van they found on Craigslist in Los Angeles, abducted the cabbie at gunpoint, and drove him, the taxi, and van up to San Jose, Calif. Duong and Nayeri fought in a San Jose hotel over whether to kill the driver.
  • When Nayeri and Tieu went out to get the van's windows tinted, Duong and the cabbie drove back to Southern California, where Duong surrendered on Jan. 29.
  • Prosecutors say Nooshafarin Ravaghi, 44, who teaches at the prison, will be released due to lack of evidence that she aided the breakout. But the Sheriff's Dept. maintains she played a key role, the LA Times reports.
  • Officials say Duong associate Loc Ba Nguyen smuggled tools, and possibly weapons, into the prison to aid the escape.
  • The escapees are being held in isolation cells and require special supervision whenever moved in jail, Hallock says. "They've been less than cooperative," he adds.

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