CHICAGO (STMW) — The 49-year-old ex-convict was on crutches. But that didn’t keep James Roesch from escaping from custody at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Roesch was being held behind a courtroom Tuesday, awaiting a bond hearing for a recent burglary arrest, when he bolted at about 10 a.m., sheriff’s police spokeswoman Liane Jackson said.

At some point, Roesch “dumped” his crutches as he fled, Jackson said.

He didn’t get far. Officers caught him as he made his way outside into the damp April morning, witnesses said. He was brought back in — with plenty of time to spare before his bond hearing.

Well after Roesch’s alleged dash, the courthouse buzzed with colorful accounts of his thwarted escape.

No one had been disciplined for the escape as of Tuesday but the investigation into the matter will continue, Jackson said.

“We are reviewing videotape, talking to witnesses,” she said.

During a nearly 20-year span, Roesch racked up several felony convictions, mostly for burglary, according to court records.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a 2004 burglary and is now on parole, court records said.

Roesch was arrested last week for another residential burglary in the 3900 block of North Central, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

He was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail Tuesday for that incident.

Roesch was expected to be charged Wednesday for the attempted escape, Jackson said.

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