Man escapes from Philadelphia jail by walking away from orchard in fourth city breakout this year
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police were searching on Friday for an inmate who escaped from a Philadelphia jail by walking away from a work detail, the fourth breakout from a city lockup this year.
Gino Hagenkotter, 34, who was serving time on theft and burglary charges, was working in the orchard on the grounds of the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center in northeast Philadelphia shortly before noon Thursday when he asked the guard assigned to him for permission to use the bathroom, said Blanche Carney, commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.
After Hagenkotter failed to return, the guard checked the restroom, but he wasn’t there, officials said.
Hagenkotter scaled a fence, walked through a city sanitation department yard next to the prison, took off his jumpsuit and was last seen on surveillance video walking down the street, according to Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore.
No one was hurt.
Vanore said Hagenkotter does not have “any dangerous history,” but officials warned he should not be approached, and urged anyone who sees him to call police.
Hagenkotter was due to be released from the nearby Riverside Correctional Facility into a transitional program on Thursday. But officials canceled the transfer after learning he had open retail theft charges in suburban Bucks County, and told Hagenkotter he would continue serving time at Riverside until April, Carney said. She said officials believe that played a role in his decision to escape.
He is the fourth person to escape custody in Philadelphia this year.
In May, two men, including one charged with four counts of murder, escaped from Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center by slipping through a gap that had been cut into a chain-link fence. The men were gone for nearly 19 hours before officials knew they were missing. Both were recaptured.
A woman briefly escaped the same jail in September by scaling two fences topped by razor wire.