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PORT HUENEME : Suspect Recaptured After Escaping Cell

An Oxnard man escaped from a holding cell at the Port Hueneme Police Department by climbing through an air vent but was recaptured after a police officer saw him a mile away, authorities said.

Richard Edward Donaldson, 42, was arrested just before noon Thursday in connection with the burglary of a Port Hueneme drugstore, police said.

An investigation revealed that Donaldson was wanted for a parole violation, and he was placed in a holding cell at police headquarters on Ventura Road to await transfer to Ventura County Jail, police said.

At 3:25 p.m., Officer Darin Schindler and Reserve Officer Guy Gates were on patrol in the area of Pleasant Valley Road and J Street when they observed a barefooted man run across Pleasant Valley Road.

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According to the officers, who recognized the suspect, Donaldson was weaving through traffic and attempting to flag down a taxi.

As they followed him, Donaldson fled through several back yards but was captured a short distance away on G Street in Oxnard.

After the suspect was returned to police headquarters, the officers discovered that he had apparently escaped by climbing through an air vent in the ceiling, from which he gained access to an unoccupied hallway and then left through a rear door, police said.

Donaldson was charged with escape and destruction of jail property and was transported to Ventura County Jail, police said.

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