Armed Inmate Captured in Santa Cruz

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Santa Cruz police search for an inmate who escaped.

    A manhunt in Santa Cruz County for an armed inmate who escaped custody at Dominican Hospital lasted for hours, but ended peacefully Monday.  

    About two hours after the escape dozens of armed officers were seen swarming a house a few blocks away from the hospital. More officers were seen down the street in what appeared to be a staging area.

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    That is where the drama ended at 4:30 p.m. It started five hours earlier.

    The man police were looking for was hard to miss. He is a 6 feet 7 inches tall black male who weighs 274 pounds and was initially wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit, but somehow changed during the day. His name is Maurice Ainsworth. Police said Ainsworth has a history of guns and violence against police.

    Police said Ainsworth escaped from custody at about 11:30 a.m. Santa Cruz County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Campos said the  inmate had just undergone an MRI and a female deputy was putting shackles on  his feet when he punched her.

    The deputy fought back and continued outside the hospital. She was bitten and taser during the struggle. Police said the deputy tried to use her Taser gun on him but he grabbed it from  her and Tased her instead. The deputy was treated at Dominican.

    Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Campos told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that the suspect was initially taken to Dominican for a medical procedure when he overpowered the female deputy. Campos said along with the taser, Ainsworth took her .40 caliber handgun, which was fired at a bystander as he ran off.

    Ainsworth was in jail awaiting trial in January on charges that he committed a home invasion in Los Gatos in March 2009, according to the Sentinel. He was accused of breaking into the home and stealing jewelry, wallets, bank information and a car.