CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WPRI) — The search for an escaped inmate from the Wyatt Detention Facility is over. Massachusetts State Police confirm they arrested James Morales in Somerville Thursday afternoon.
According to a tweet from Massachusetts State Police, a uniformed trooper located Morales on Broadway and arrested him. He was booked at State Police barracks in Medford, then taken into federal custody at an undisclosed location. He is expected to appear in federal court in Providence to face an escape charge on Friday.
Morales had been on the run for five days. He broke out the Wyatt Detention Facility early New Year’s Eve by scaling a basketball hoop and climbing over razor wire.
The manhunt intensified Thursday after a man matching Morales’ description attempted to rob a Bank of America in Cambridge.
State police said the arresting trooper, Joseph Merrick, was in Somerville in response to a second attempted bank robbery when he spotted Morales in the area of Route 28 and Mystic Avenue.
“I saw the suspect, which I believed to be the escapee from Rhode Island,” Trooper Merrick told reporters after Morales was taken into custody. “After a foot chase, a couple fences…I was able to get him into custody.”
Police said Morales dropped a motorcycle helmet, gloves and a fanny pack before he was captured.
Following the arrest, US Marshal Jamie Hainsworth sent an email to Target 12 Investigator Tim White which simply read: “He is in custody.” Hainworth’s office had been spearheading the search for Morales.
Two correctional officers were placed on administrative leave following Morales’ escape. On Thursday, it was revealed a third CO and a supervisor were also placed on leave.
Wyatt officials said the lockdown at the facility has been lifted, though the recreation yard where Morales escaped remains closed.
The first bank robbery
According to Cambridge police, a man entered the Bank of America on Massachusetts Avenue Thursday morning and passed a note demanding money.
The FBI described the suspect as a black male, 5’10”, mustache, dark skin, husky and wearing a black jacket with a gray sweatshirt, black knit cap, a scarf, and black sneakers.
At the time, both Cambridge and Massachusetts State Police said the description of the suspect matched that of Morales.
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