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Escaped inmate captured in northern California

Escaped inmate captured in northern California

November 30th, 2010 by TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press in News

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Authorities captured an inmate who escaped Monday after overpowering a deputy and then using a stun gun on her as he was being was being transported to a Northern California hospital, officials said.

Maurice Ainsworth, 24, who was considered armed and dangerous, was arrested without incident after being holed up in an unoccupied house for more than four hours.

"We got him," Santa Cruz County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Campos said.

Ainsworth surrendered in a vacant house next to a house where police originally thought he was hiding, Santa Cruz Interim Police Chief Kevin Vogel told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Ainsworth's escape prompted foot and aerial searches, lockdowns at schools and evacuations of some homes in the neighborhood.

He fled around 11:30 a.m. while being transported to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, Campos said. The 6 feet 7 inches tall, 275 pound Ainsworth punched and overpowered a female deputy while she was attempting to reshackle him, Campos said. They struggled briefly as Ainsworth took her Taser and used it on her, Campos added.

Ainsworth then took her .40-caliber handgun, fired a shot at another person and ran away, said Campos, who did not immediately know if that person was injured from the shooting.

An injured deputy was listed in fair condition at Dominican, according to a statement by hospital spokesman Mike Lee.

Harbor High School and DeLaveaga Elementary School were temporarily put on lockdown as a precaution, schools Superintendent Gary Bloom said.

Ainsworth has a long criminal history, court records show. In June 2008 he was convicted of felony burglary, auto theft and evading a peace officer with injury. In April 2009, court records show he was also convicted of kidnapping, robbery, felony burglary and other charges.

Ainsworth had been in jail awaiting trial on charges that he committed a home invasion robbery in March 2009. He and co-defendant Jyler Raines are accused of breaking into a Los Gatos home with three people inside and stealing jewelry, wallets, bank information and a car.

Ainsworth was scheduled to go to trial Jan. 10 on the felony counts.


Associated Press writer Jason Dearen contributed to this report.