Inmate briefly escapes custody at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital

An inmate who was taken to a La Mesa hospital for a medical emergency briefly escaped from the sheriff’s deputy who was guarding him Monday evening, authorities said.

The 26-year-old man jumped from a second-story parking garage to make his escape, but was ultimately taken back into custody about 30 minutes later, according to La Mesa police and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

It happened about 6:30 pm Monday after the man — arrested by San Diego police last month on suspicion of a gun charge and child endangerment — was taken to Sharp Grossmont Hospital for an evaluation after suffering a medical emergency at the El Cajon courthouse.

While at the hospital, he asked to use the bathroom, then sprinted away from the sheriff’s deputy, according to a news release from Sheriff’s Department officials. The deputy gave chase, but the man jumped from the parking garage and fled the hospital grounds.

La Mesa police officers searched for the man with help from a sheriff’s helicopter making announcements. La Mesa officers found him and detained him just before 7 p.m. a few hundred yards north of the hospital, Lt. Katy Lynch said.

LMPD and helicopter assisted SD Sheriff’s Office in police activity near Grossmont Hospital. Person has been located

— La Mesa PD (@LaMesaPD) April 5, 2022

Lynch said officers found the man in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Mellmanor Drive, just north of Fletcher Parkway, while sheriff’s officials said he was discovered in a creek next to the trolley tracks that run just south of Fletcher Parkway.

Sheriff’s officials said he complained of pain after being caught, and was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center at Hillcrest for treatment. He is suspected to face new charges in connection with his escape.

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