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Jail escapee found hiding in portable restroom

A Merced County jail escapee thought he found refuge in a Turlock portable restroom Tuesday night. Instead, it made for a quick arrest by the city’s police department.

Turlock officers arrested Christopher Daniels, 28, and took him to the Merced County line, where sheriff’s deputies brought the inmate back to jail, department spokesman Tom MacKenzie said.

Two others who escaped with him are still on the run.

Wet and cold on the streets of Turlock, Daniels asked a man on the street to hide him because the police were searching for him, MacKenzie said.

“He must have got spooked,” MacKenzie said. “Maybe he thought he saw a police car.”

The man suggested Daniels hide in a nearby portable restroom and then called the police.

Daniels, held in jail on suspicion of receiving stolen property, now faces an additional charge of escaping Monday morning from the John Latorraca Correctional Center.

Deputies discovered that Daniels and two other inmates were missing during a head count. It was the second jail break this year.

Investigators believe that the trio escaped by crawling through a ceiling vent in one of the jail’s bathrooms just after midnight.

They then used a two-by-four slab of wood to break through the jail’s plywood and tar roof.

Inmate Richard Perry, 28, was in jail on stolen property and identity theft charges. He’s a member of a skinhead gang, deputies said. Donald Stephenson 45, was arrested on check fraud and theft charges.

Neither has yet been caught.

Earlier this month, inmate Javier Fonseca Jaramillo escaped from the jail. Jaramillo, a 41-year-old drug offender, remains loose.

Investigators ask anyone with information about Jaramillo’s or the others’ whereabouts to call the Merced County Sheriff’s Department at 209 385-7444.Reporter Scott Jason can be reached at 209 385-2453 or sjason@mercedsun-star.com.

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