ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — An Elgin Mental Health Center fugitive is back in police custody after an hours-long manhunt Wednesday, according to the Elgin Police Department.
Jesse Vega escaped from custody near Seneca Street and Dundee Avenue, about 2 ½ miles away from the mental health center, according to a post on the Elgin Police Department’s Facebook page. Police say he was still wearing his handcuffs when he was arrested.
At a news conference, Elgin Police Commander Ana Lalley explained how the escaped prisoner was captured.
“The citizen heard some commotion in her backyard and observed Mr. Vega getting into a cab that just happened to be in the area,” said Cmdr. Lalley. “The cab driver, who was aware of the alerts, pulled over in the area of St. John and Summit and contacted his dispatch center.”
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot cab driver Aaron Dunbar recognized Vega from an alert on his phone.
“He got in the cab and he wanted to go to the airport,” said Dunbar. “I told him he had to pay upfront so he was on my phone for about 10 minutes trying to convince somebody to send him money through the credit card and that is when the police showed up.”
Scores of area police officers and SWAT teams spent the day searching for the fugitive. At one point police stormed the “This Is It” hair salon. Quandrice Riley was working at the time.
“They had me at gun point, made me get on the ground here in front,” said Riley.
The young man thinks he was singled out because of what he wore on his belt.
In A Youtube video, Elgin Police Chief Jeffrey Swoboda thanked people who shared their Facebook post about the escaped prisoner.
“It’s the community’s input and all of you on social media that’s really helped today,” Chief Swoboda said.
According to Lake County court records, Vega was charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery, Aggravated Battery, Obstructing Justice and Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.