General Crime

* Mohit Basandrai escaped from a holding area at the Fremont courthouse

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An inmate who escaped from a holding area at the Fremont courthouse on Thursday was safely recaptured about three hours later, but embarrassed Alameda County Sheriff’s officials are trying to figure out how he got away. Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said a preliminary investigation indicates “there was at least a portion of human error” involved in the escape of Mohit Basandrai, 21, and steps are being taken to avoid additional escapes in the future.

Nelson said sheriff’s officials are trying to determine if there were any additional factors involved in Basandrai’s escape. Basandrai escaped at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday when was being detained in a holding area of the Fremont Hall of Justice, where he was to have a hearing on charges of possession of a stolen car and joy-riding after being arrested in Union City on July 26.

He was being held in an area away from other inmates and somehow got away, Nelson said. Deputies noticed the absence of Basandrai, who was in a jail uniform, after only a few minutes and an alarm was sounded, Nelson said. Deputies could not find him near the courthouse but found him at walking in the 27000 block of Sleepy Hollow Avenue South in Hayward, near his residence, at about 2:15 p.m.

Thursday and took him into custody without incident, Nelson said Basandrai, who was still wearing jail-issued socks but had shed most of the rest of his jail clothes, stood out because he was wearing shorts even though it was cold and drizzly, Nelson said. He now faces escape charges, in addition to the charges he already faced, and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Fremont Hall of Justice on Monday morning. Basandrai is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail.

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