Calif. inmate escapes out of cop cruiser

By Geoff Johnson
The Red Bluff Daily News

RED BLUFF, Calif. — A 23-year-old prisoner briefly escaped Tehama County Sheriff's Department custody Monday morning by kicking out a passenger window of a patrol car and rolling onto Highway 36E at 50 mph, Sheriff Clay Parker said Tuesday.

Joshuwa Raleigh Vinyard was being transferred from the High Desert State Prison in Susanville for a hearing on a 2007 case involving great bodily injury and resisting a Red Bluff Police Department officer.

Vinyard's escape attempt began around 10:40 a.m. as he fought his handcuffs and leg restraints, prompting the two correctional officers charged with his transport to call the TCSD and the California Highway Patrol for backup.

Vinyard targeted the passenger door and began to kick it in his struggle. Some 18 minutes later and three miles west of Dales Station, Vinyard succeeded in destroying the passenger window. Reaching outside the vehicle, he pulled the door open and rolled out onto the highway.

Vinyard fled into a field but was stopped by a barbed wire fence where he became stuck, Parker said. A violent struggle ensued, and Vinyard was able to injure three deputies before he was again in the custody of the TCSD.

Neither Vinyard nor the deputies received serious injuries, Parker said. None of the deputies required hospitalization, while Vinyard was treated at a local hospital and was transported to a security cell at the Tehama County Jail.

Charges are pending for Vinyard and may include attempting to escape from prison by use of violence, $400 or more in vandalism and employing violence against an officer.

Copyright 2008 The Red Bluff Daily News

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