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Police: Escaped minimum-security inmate returned with SUV to pick up friends

By Ben Hooper
Police: Escaped minimum-security inmate returned with SUV to pick up friends
Police in Alaska are searching for a man who escaped a minimum-security facility and returned three hours later to pick up more inmates in an SUV. Photo by Alex Schmidt/Shutterstock.com

FAIRBANKS, Alaska, May 23 (UPI) -- Alaska State Troopers said a man who escaped from a minimum-security facility returned three hours later with an SUV to pick up some of his fellow inmates.

Troopers said in a dispatch that Joshua Yaska, 20, was seen riding a bicycle away from Fairbanks' North Star Center correctional facility about 1:05 a.m. Sunday.

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Investigators said Yaska returned about 4:20 a.m. with an Isuzu SUV, which he used to transport an undisclosed number of his fellow inmates away from the facility. The dispatch said Yaska allegedly tried to hit a North Star Center employee with the SUV while leaving the parking lot.

The halfway house holds up to 143 minimum-security inmates and staff are instructed not to physically restrain the inmates from leaving the building.

Yaska was being housed at the North Star Center while awaiting trail for charges of misdemeanor theft and making a false report stemming from an April 19 incident. He was arrested May 12 and brought to the facility after failing to show up for an April 22 court date.

Troopers said misdemeanor escape and assault charges have been forwarded to prosecutors.

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Yaska remained on the loose Monday.

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