PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. marshal in Rhode Island is urging an escaped prisoner to turn himself in.
Former Army reservist James Morales, 35, escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility on New Year's Eve by climbing a basketball hoop to reach a rooftop, cutting through a fence and climbing through razor wire, according to authorities. Police believe Morales fled to Attleboro, Massachusetts, and stole a car that was found Sunday.
At a news conference Tuesday, U.S. Marshal Jamie Hainsworth would not discuss details of the search but said Morales is likely injured with lacerations and might require medical attention. He asked for the public's help and said people should notify authorities if they come across him.
"We know that he's a dangerous individual," Hainsworth said. "He may be armed."
Morales is charged with stealing 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center and faces child rape charges in Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Police added him to their most wanted list Tuesday.
Hainsworth also said while his immediate priority is to find Morales, they're going to take a "hard look" at the Wyatt Detention Facility, which is privately run.
The prison, located in Central Falls, has said it took more than three hours to discover Morales was missing. Two officers have been placed on paid leave.