Two Merced County jail escapees captured in San Diego area, 3 still at large

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Two young men who used a “homemade rope” to escape from a jail in central California were apprehended in the San Diego area, while three of the six escapees remain at large, authorities said Wednesday.

The group of six inmates escaped Merced County Downtown Jail shortly before midnight Sunday, using the rope to scale down the side of the jail after getting onto the roof, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

Shortly after 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Edgar Eduardo Ventura, 22, of Portland, Oregon, was apprehended in the Firebaugh area, roughly 40 miles west of Fresno, sheriff’s officials said.

At about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Fabian Cruz Roman, 22, of Los Banos in Merced County, and Andres Nunez Rodriguez Jr., 21, of Planada in Merced County, were taken into custody without incident in the San Diego area, sheriff’s officials said. No further details about the arrests were immediately available.

Roman was originally jailed on suspicion of murder and Rodriguez on suspicion of attempted murder, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The pair were being transported back to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

Ventura was originally arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang and violation of probation. He was transported back to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday afternoon.

The outstanding fugitives were identified as Jorge Barron, 20, of Atwater in Merced County; Gabriel Francis Coronado, 19, of Atwater; and Manuel Allen Leon, 21, of Vallejo in Solano County, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Barron is described as a 5-feet-5-inch Latino who weighs about 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He is facing probation violation charges, according to U.S. officials.

Coronado is described as a 5-feet-10-inch Latino who weighs about 225 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. His charges include attempted murder, participating in a criminal street gang and firearm possession.

Leon is described as a 5-feet-10-inch Latino who weighs about 165 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He faces charges of assault with a firearm, participating in a criminal street gang, and carrying a loaded firearm.

The trio should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone who spots them is asked not to approach them and immediately call 911, officials said.

Tipsters can also submit information online at www.usmarshals.gov/tips/index.html or by calling 1-877-926-8332. Tipsters can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

Categories: California News, Local San Diego News