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Razor wire tangles up inmate's escape try

A jail inmate tried unsuccessfully to escape from the John Latorraca Adult Correctional Facility, but not by any sophisticated means, said Deputy Tom MacKenzie, Merced County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

Instead of fabricating a false panel, digging a tunnel or some other trick maneuver, 24-year-old Chris Canada ran for the fence Saturday afternoon at the Sandy Mush Road facility and became entangled in the razor wire while being chased by six guards, MacKenzie said.

After being given verbal orders and dosed with department-issue pepper spray, Canada finally gave up after receiving numerous cuts and scrapes from the razor wire. Officers had him surrounded on both sides of the fence, eliminating any chance for escape.

After being treated for his cuts at the jail infirmary, Canada was returned to his cell. Canada was in jail awaiting trial for armed robbery, and now will receive an additional charge of escape, MacKenzie said.

Canada allegedly robbed Bernie's Liquors, 2322 G St. at 7:48 p.m. on March 12, jumping over the counter, taking money out of the cash register and struggling with a store clerk. Canada ran from the scene and was arrested in the 2300 block of I Street, said Lt. Jim Gurden of the Merced Police Department.

MacKenzie said Canada was on his way back to his dorm from being checked by medical staff at the jail when he made a run for it.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or