Inmate escaped 2 days into a 4-day sentence. Freedom was short-lived, deputies say

Freedom didn’t last long for a Northern California man who escaped from jail last week, deputies said.

It was the second day of at a Santa Rosa jail when he decided to make a break for it, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. He was serving the sentence for a DUI conviction, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.

Schwartz managed to just after 8 p.m. April 27, deputies said. Once Schwartz reached the top, he had to get past coils of razor wire strung atop the barrier. It took some time, but he untangled himself from the coils and then dropped to the ground. From there, Schwartz hopped over a wooden fence and started running, deputies said.

By this point, more than 20 deputies (as well as the sheriff’s department’s helicopter, police dogs, highway patrol officers and other local police) were on the hunt for the escapee.


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Marc Schwartz, 22 Sonoma County Sheriff‘s Office

Meanwhile, guards locked down the jail and ran an inmate count to identify who had escaped. Once the jail knew who the fugitive was, they broadcast Schwartz’s description — and within minutes, a citizen told authorities he’d spotted someone who fit the profile. The citizen said the suspect was running through a field of tall grass near the jail, deputies said.

Authorities converged on that spot while the helicopter scanned the area with a searchlight so Schwartz would have to stop moving, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies closed in on the fugitive and captured him — just 38 minutes after the escape was reported.

The half-hour of freedom didn’t treat the escaped inmate particularly well, deputies said: Schwartz was wet and bleeding in a creek not far from the jail when authorities got to him. Near him was a bloody, jail-issued shirt, deputies said.

Paramedics treated Schwartz for his injuries, and then he was taken to a local hospital for further care, the sheriff’s office said. After that, Schwartz was taken to the Main Adult Detention Facility in Santa Rosa — a more secure jail, where Schwartz was booked on felony escape charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

On the Facebook post recounting the escape, commenters speculated that the inmate may have been going through drug withdrawal if he tried to escape halfway through a four-day sentence. But the sheriff’s office responded by saying that didn’t seem to be Schwartz’s motivator.

“No drug or mental health issues in this case,” the department wrote. “He chose to solve a perceived problem in the absolute worst way.”

Schwartz is being held without bail, according to jail records.

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