2 Who Fled Jail Caught, 5 Still at Large

From a Times Staff Writer

Two of seven inmates who escaped from County Jail in El Cajon were captured Monday, one of them while reportedly attempting to burglarize a nearby home, authorities said.

Salvatore Serna, 37, who along with six other inmates Sunday punched a hole through a jail wall and then slid seven stories down a rope made of bedsheets, was found inside a closet in the 200 block of Roanoke Road, police said.

El Cajon officers were called to the home at 11:30 a.m. Monday to check a report of a burglary. When they got there, the home showed signs of being burglarized, and while checking the house, they found Serna in a closet. He surrendered without resistance, according to police, adding that he had a broken ankle, apparently suffered during the escape.

At the time of his escape, Serna, of San Diego, was being held on four counts of burglary.

Also captured Monday afternoon was Keith J. Inman, 20, of Chula Vista. Inman, who was being held on charges of possession of narcotics and six counts of assault with a deadly weapon, was arrested by San Diego police at a residence on 43rd Street. Police responded after someone called the Crime Stoppers hot line and reported seeing Inman at the home.

Still on the loose as of late Monday night were Charles Anderson, 19, of San Diego, who was in custody on charges of possessing narcotics; Russell S. Stuart, 20, of Spring Valley, who was being held on a probation violation; Humberto C. Ledesma, 20, a transient held on grand theft charges; Israel Garibay, 33, of San Diego, in custody for burglary, and Pedro Perez, 27, of Tijuana, who was being held on a parole violation.

The inmates escaped from a hole in the south wall of their seventh-floor housing module, called 7-C, and used several bedsheets tied together to lower themselves to the ground, a Sheriff's spokeswoman said. There were 195 inmates in the module.

Deputies discovered the escape about 8:15 p.m. and ordered an immediate lock-down. The escapees were wearing standard jail uniforms of blue pants and pullover shirts marked with "SD Jail," or unmarked green T-shirts.

Sgt. Douglas Hughes, the jail watch commander, said the escapees must have taken sheets from throughout the seventh-floor housing module. "There were about 30 to 50 sheets on the ground," he said.

He described the wall the inmates punched through as "like Styrofoam, only they're 2inches thick."

The escape is the second one this year from the facility. On July, 17, John Pugh also escaped from the module 7-C, also using bedsheets to reach the ground. He was captured a month later in San Diego. However, in early September Pugh escaped from the high-security section of the County Jail in downtown San Diego.

This time, Pugh, 36, and a fellow inmate used an improvised rope made of braided cloth to clamber down from the roof of the jail to the roof of the courthouse below.

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