77th Street Escapee Captured
Los Angeles: The man who escaped from the 77th Street police station yesterday was captured this morning, June 10, 2005, by Los Angeles Police Department officers in Newton Street Division.
Officers acting on a tip from the public began searching for the suspect near 59th Street and Central Avenue. Other locals reported seeing the suspect in the area. The officers expanded their search to a recycling center and arrested the suspect around 11:45 AM, at 1160 East Slauson Avenue.
Among the arresting officers was one officer who knew the suspect from prior contacts. The suspect still had dust in his hair from the demolition in the breakout. He was identified as Francisco Puemas, 20, a resident of Los Angeles.
Puemas was originally arrested early Monday morning, June 9, 2005, after officers recognized him as a wanted suspect for a robbery on May 29, 2005. Puemas was able to break a 15" by 9" hole through metal-reinforced drywall in a holding cell just before 3 AM, and exit the police station through a door that opened to the street.
Police were confident they would recapture the suspect quickly, as he was well known to several officers as a local homeless man. His name was not released, until now, because his true identity had not been confirmed by police.
Puemas was booked on a charge of robbery.
Police facilities mangers are continuing to inspect all the holding cells in the LAPD's nineteen police stations to determine if retrofitting is necessary to avert a similar escape. The two newest stations, Mission and West Valley, have holding cells constructed from cinder block.
Four photographs of the hole in the holding cell are available to media outlets, upon request, from Media Relations Section.