An inmate escaped from a medium security jail outside Watsonville Thursday night and was discovered missing the next morning, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. According to the sheriff’s deputies, at approximately 11 p.m. Thursday, inmate Richard Sasse, 28, escaped from the Santa Cruz Medium Jail Facility, known as Rountree Detention Facilities, in an unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County.Sasse was discovered missing when a correctional officer did an inmate headcount at around 11 a.m. Friday, deputies said.
Through further investigation, the sheriff’s office learned that Sasse was part of a cleaning crew in the jail’s inmate cafeteria and was able to escape through the kitchen after manipulating a locked door. When the inmate was discovered missing, the sheriff’s office put out an alert to all law enforcement in the area.The sheriff’s office is continuing to search for Sasse.
Before Sasse escaped, he was accused of robbing a woman on Nov. 28, reportedly showing a gun when she hesitated, as well as an attempted carjacking, four burglaries and other charges.
The sheriff’s office said Sasse is fluent in English and Spanish and they believe that he may be heading to Mexico or Washington, where he has family. Sasse is described as 6 feet tall, 155 pounds, with brown medium-length hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing jail issued tan pants, a tan shirt and a green sweatshirt.
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