PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A physically fit inmate who broke free from an Arizona jail by hoisting himself atop a basketball hoop and pulling apart a security fence is back in custody after months on the run, authorities said Tuesday.
Wade Cole Dickinson was arrested without incident Monday night in Las Vegas . He fled the Camp Verde jail on July 12 while awaiting transfer to a state prison where he was to spend nearly 25 years for fraud, drugs and possessing a firearm.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office planned a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Prescott to detail the search for Dickinson.
An investigative report released weeks after the escape said Dickinson was misclassified as a medium-security inmate, despite being a known flight risk. Extra security was on hand during his court appearances, but he wasn’t as closely watched in the housing unit at the Camp Verde jail.
No one was directly supervising the recreation yard when Dickinson broke out a security camera with a basketball, climbed atop the basketball hoop, grabbed on to an overhead security fence and pulled it apart, the report said. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound former personal trainer then ran across a roof and dropped about 30 feet before scaling an exterior fence with barbed wire, Sheriff Scott Mascher has said.
Dickinson was discovered missing when someone called 911 to report a man in orange pants and a white shirt trying to steal a vehicle at a Camp Verde business.
The U.S. Marshals Service later joined the hunt for Dickinson, following up on out-of-state leads and deploying officers staged throughout the country, Yavapai County sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said.
Authorities said they didn’t believe that Dickinson was a violent man. Instead, they said he was an adept con man.