The Latest: Man to appear in court Friday on escape charge

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Posted: Jan 05, 2017 7:22 PM
The Latest: Man to appear in court Friday on escape charge

BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the escape of an inmate from a Rhode Island detention center (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Federal officials say a man who climbed through razor wire to escape from a detention center in Rhode Island and was captured in Massachusetts will appear in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island, on Friday on an escape charge.

Police say James Morales was captured Thursday in Somerville, Massachusetts, by a state trooper who spotted him shortly after an attempted bank robbery there.

They say the former Army reservist had escaped on New Year's Eve from a detention center where he was being held on charges he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester (WUS'-tur), Massachusetts. He's in custody and can't be reached for comment.

Massachusetts Trooper Joseph Merrick says he chased Morales on foot for a quarter-mile before catching him trying to climb a fence. He says Morales was exhausted and didn't put up much of a fight.

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5:15 p.m.

Police say a man who escaped from a Rhode Island detention center on New Year's Eve tried to rob a bank in Massachusetts right before he was captured.

A Massachusetts state police spokesman says James Morales was apprehended Thursday after police received a report of an attempted robbery of a Citizens Bank in Somerville by a man who fit Morales' description.

Earlier in the day, authorities said they were investigating another attempted bank robbery in Cambridge in which the would-be robber also resembled Morales.

State police say a trooper who heard a bulletin about the Somerville attempted robbery spotted Morales walking. They say the trooper chased Morales on foot and grabbed him as he tried to jump over a fence.

Morales is being booked at the state police barracks in Medford. He can't be reached for comment while in custody.

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4:30 p.m.

Police say a man who escaped from a Rhode Island detention center and was captured in Massachusetts will be booked soon.

Massachusetts state police say fugitive James Morales will be booked Thursday evening at the police barracks in Medford. They say Morales was captured Thursday afternoon in Somerville after being spotted by a state trooper.

Morales escaped from the privately run Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, on Saturday. He's being held on charges he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester (WUS'-tur), Massachusetts. He also faces child rape charges. He can't be reached for comment while in custody.

Earlier Thursday, authorities said they were investigating whether Morales is the man who attempted to rob a bank in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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4:10 p.m.

Authorities say a man who escaped from a prison in Rhode Island on New Year's Eve has been captured in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Police and the U.S. marshal in Rhode Island say James Morales was captured Thursday afternoon in Somerville.

They did not immediately release any other details.

U.S. Marshal Jamie Hainsworth said he expects a news conference to be held later Thursday in Massachusetts.

Morales escaped from the privately run Wyatt Detention Facility on Saturday. He was being held on charges that he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester. He also was facing child rape charges.

Earlier Thursday, authorities said they were investigating whether Morales is the same man who attempted to rob a bank in Cambridge.

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1:30 p.m.

Massachusetts authorities are investigating whether a man who escaped from a prison in Rhode Island is the same man who attempted to rob a bank in Cambridge.

James Morales escaped Saturday from the privately run Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls.

Massachusetts state police spokesman David Procopio says a man police believe was Morales attempted to rob a Bank of America in Cambridge on Thursday. He says authorities haven't made a definitive identification, but the suspect resembles Morales.

Procopio says the suspect passed a note to a teller demanding money, but fled without any cash.

Morales is a Cambridge native and a former Army reservist. He was being held at Wyatt on charges that he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester. He also was facing child rape charges.

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This story has been corrected to show Wyatt Detention Facility is privately run, not a federal prison.