O.C. jailbreak: ‘He is ready to turn himself in,’ caller says in 911 call

Michael Knoski, left, Theresa Nguyen and Lee Tran, employees of Auto Electric Rebuilders in Santa Ana. Nguyen called police at Bac Duong’s request.
Michael Knoski, left, Theresa Nguyen and Lee Tran, employees of Auto Electric Rebuilders in Santa Ana. Nguyen called police at Bac Duong’s request.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Bac Duong, one of three inmates who escaped from a jail in Santa Ana, was scared and just wanted to turn himself in peacefully, two callers told a police dispatcher Friday.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department released audio Sunday from a 911 call describing the moments leading up to Duong’s arrest. Duong was taken into custody Friday at the auto business on North Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana.

Duong, 43, had been on the run for a week after breaking out of the Men’s Central Jail on Jan. 22 with Hossein Nayeri, 37, and 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu. Eventually he went to a friend’s auto body shop in Santa Ana and told the owner to call police.


In the call, a man and a woman tell a Santa Ana Police Department dispatcher that Duong was “ready to turn himself in.”

Female caller: I am calling about Bac Duong. I have him here. He is ready to turn himself in.

Dispatcher: I am sorry. Who is ready to turn himself in?

Caller: Bac Duong. B…A…C. He’s the three inmates that escaped. I have one of them here.

Dispatcher: OK.

Caller: He just came in. He said he’s scared to turn himself in, so he asked me to call.

Dispatcher: OK, hold on a second. Stay on the line with me.

Dispatcher: Yeah, can I help you?

Male caller: Yeah. OK umm. One of the escaped inmates Bac… I think um [sic]... sitting in the front. He wants to turn himself in.

Dispatcher: OK and it’s Bac? And do you know him? So you know Bac Duong? You know for sure its him.

Caller: Yes, 100%. He is not armed or anything. He just wants to turn himself in peacefully.

Dispatcher: [sic] That’s OK. Tell him not to be afraid. We appreciate that he is turning himself in. I need you to relay that information to him and your sister, OK? But I need him to understand that I have a lot of police officers on the way and I need him to when he sees them, I am gonna need him probably to keep his hands up. I am going to stay on the line with you the entire time, OK? Talk to them. Can you yell loud at them that I have police on the way. I appreciate that he’s turning himself in. Tell him to stay cooperative with us, OK?


Caller: OK.

Dispatcher: Alright? Nobody wants… we are not here to hurt anybody, OK? If he wants to turn himself in, that’s what we are going to do, OK?

Caller: OK. I understand. Hold on a sec.

Dispatcher: Is he…

Caller: Yeah, OK the officers are here right now. They are handcuffing him and they already have [sic]..

Dispatcher: Good!

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