Escaped prisoner captured after a month on the loose

MADRAS, Ore. - An inmate who climbed the razor-wire fence at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution last month has been captured, the Department of Corrections said.

Clinton Orvill Swearingen II was arrested Friday evening on charges of disorderly conduct in the second degree, failure to obey a police officer and resisting arrest. He is being held in the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Swearingen was sentenced to prison out of Linn County. He entered state prison custody on Feb. 4, 2014, on one count of theft in the first degree, two counts of burglary in the second degree, and two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle out of Linn County.

Prison staff at Deer Ridge in Madras discovered Swearingen missing during the 10:15 p.m. count time, Sunday, May 4.

Video footage shows that Swearingen climbed the razor-wire fence at approximately 9:20 p.m., the Department of Corrections said.

While on the loose, investigators got what they called "credible" sightings of Swearingen in the Mill City area.

Here's The Associated Press report on his capture:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) A 31-year-old man who escaped from a Central Oregon prison by climbing a razor-wire fence is back in custody after a month on the run.

Clinton Orvill Swearingen II was arrested Friday near the Pioneer Courthouse in downtown Portland after federal officers saw him sitting against a wall.

The officers from the Federal Protective Service were concerned about his backpack and other gear, The Oregonian reported.

When they asked Swearingen for identification, he reached into his wallet and then fled, the newspaper reported. He was captured after a brief chase and identified through a fingerprint check at the Multnomah County jail.

Swearingen was serving time at the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution on theft, burglary and stolen car convictions from Linn County.

On May 4, he climbed a razor-wire fence to escape from the minimum-security prison, surveillance video showed. He apparently was cut as he did so. Bloody clothes were found later in nearby Madras.

Authorities reported at least one sighting a few days after the escape in Mill City, a town along the North Santiam River where Swearingen previously was arrested.

Prison officials said it was the first escape from inside the 7-year-old prison. The most common way prisoners get loose is by walking away from outside activities such as work details, said Betty Bernt, an Oregon Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

Swearingen will be back in the department's custody soon, and likely will face additional charges because of the escape, Bernt said. He will be processed through the prison system's intake center at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for reassignment.

Bernt said the department learned Monday that Swearingen had been recaptured.


Information from: The Oregonian,