Arizona inmate recaptured after climbing basketball hoop to escape

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2014 2:47 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Authorities have recaptured a physically fit felon who scaled a basketball hoop to escape from an Arizona detention center and was on the run for more than two months, a top law enforcement official said on Tuesday.

Wade Cole Dickinson, a 29-year-old convict who listed his occupation as personal trainer, was taken into custody without incident on Monday at an apartment in Las Vegas, Nevada, said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona.

Dickinson fled the Yavapai County Detention Facility on July 12 after climbing a 10-foot-tall basketball hoop in the yard and using it to jump onto a security fence, an incident report said.

Gonzales told Reuters the inmate was captured by U.S. marshals and detectives from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, and is being held at a jail in Clark County, Nevada, on charges of escape and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

He said Dickinson is believed to have been in Las Vegas for at least a month before he was caught, and that it could be several weeks before he is extradited to Arizona.

"This is still an on-going investigation," Gonzales said. "We are looking into who provided the critical assistance he needed during the escape and while he was free."

The inmate fled the detention center while waiting to be transferred to prison to serve a 24-year sentence on charges including fraud, trafficking in stolen property, drug possession, and illegal possession of a firearm.

The incident report said he was not being watched at the time of his escape, despite being a known flight risk. A $5,000 reward had been posted for information leading to his recapture, but it was not immediately clear on Tuesday if that had been claimed.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)