3 escapees, ESL teacher expected in O.C. court Monday


Three inmates and a jail teacher who allegedly helped them escape are expected to appear in court Monday, more than a week after they broke free from a Santa Ana lockup.

The Orange County district attorney’s office will provide details at 10 a.m. Monday about charges involving inmates Hossein Nayeri, 37, Jonathan Tieu, 20, Bac Duong, 43, and others arrested in connection with their jailbreak.

The three, along with English-as-a-second-language teacher Nooshafarin Ravaghi, will appear in central jail court Monday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s website.


Duong was arrested Friday after turning himself in. He appeared at a family’s auto body shop in Santa Ana and told the owner and his wife to call police.

Hours later, Nayeri and Tieu were spotted in a parking lot near a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco. The men had been riding the same white GMC Savana that the they had stolen in South Los Angeles.

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Officers found Tieu hiding inside the van. Nayeri was discovered near Waller and Stanyan streets in San Francisco, where he led police on short foot chase before he was caught.

“I can say this morning that the entire state can breathe a sigh of relief,” Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said at a news briefing after the men’s capture Saturday.

Details about the intense manhunt, including a timeline of the men’s activities and information about the Sheriff’s Department’s investigation, will be released at 11 a.m. during a news conference.


The inmates had broken out of the Men’s Central Jail sometime after 5 a.m. Jan. 22, cutting through steel, metal and rebar. The men navigated their way through through jail plumbing and air ducts before reaching the roof, where they used a rope of knotted bedsheets and cloth to rappel down the side of the concrete detention facility.

The men’s absence went undetected for 16 hours.

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Orange County sheriff’s officials later said the men had obtained help from a worker inside the jail. Ravaghi, an English teacher, is accused of aiding in the jailbreak. Lt. Jeffrey Hallock said Ravaghi exchanged handwritten letters with Nayeri, forming a relationship “much closer and much more personal than it should have been.”

Staff writers Richard Winton, Taylor Goldenstein, Matt Stevens and Anh Do contributed to this report.

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