Michael Martin Garrett, 33, a felon who escaped from a California state prison on Sunday, January 14th, was captured in front of a Vons grocery store in Encinitas at about 6 p.m. Monday, less than 24 hours later.
San Diego County sheriff’s deputy Giovani Pantoja responded to a call of “a suspicious person” at a shopping center in the 400 block of Santa Fe Drive. Deputy Pantoja assisted a team from the California Department of Corrections to take Garrett back into custody, which was described as “without incident.”
“The San Diego’s Sheriff’s office responded to the location where they observed Garrett standing in front of the store,” according to a Department of Corrections news release.
The Twitter account for California prisons tweeted out at about 7 p.m. Monday night that their escaped prisoner had been captured.
“At around 9:15 p.m. Sunday, January 14, it was discovered that Garrett was not accounted for during the evening inmate count,” according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Krissi Khokobashvilli. “He was there at the 4 p.m. count. This was an escape from within the perimeter of the prison, which is very unusual.”
Garrett’s time at liberty was an “escape” and not a “walkaway” from any public service work, which inmates sometimes perform. Khokobashvili declined to provide any details of how Garrett managed to get out of the Chino facility, which is described as minimum-and-medium security for 3400 inmates.
By mid-day Tuesday, January 16, Garrett was back in Chino, not in his usual cell but in “administration segregation” because “he is facing discipline.”
If Garrett faces any additional court action or additional prison time, that matter will go through the San Bernardino County court system because that is the jurisdiction where the escape occurred, according to Khokobashvilli.
Garrett was arrested in San Diego County in June 2017. He was convicted of all charges at trial: four felonies and three misdemeanors. His convictions were: first-degree burglary of an inhabited dwelling, evading an officer with wanton disregard, possession of a stolen vehicle, concealment of a stolen vehicle, resisting an officer, and hit-and-run.
Garrett arrived at Chino prison three months ago, on October 30, 2017. His sentence was for four years and eight months. Garrett might have been eligible for parole in October 2019, before his unauthorized exit.
"He made a very bad choice," according to Khokobashvili.