OCCC inmate captured following elaborate jail break

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:14 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 12:21 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An inmate who pulled off an elaborate jail break at the Oahu Community Correctional Center has been apprehended and is in police custody.

The state Public Safety Department announced his capture Thursday morning.

Guards noticed Morgan Bear missing during a headcount about 10:30 Tuesday night.

Law enforcement sources say that Bear allegedly broke a bathroom window to get outside before using his jumpsuit as a barrier to scale a razor wire fence.

He then reportedly hopped a second fence ― all without being detected.

“That’s wild. I can’t believe that happened,” said Oahu resident Joe Allen.

It’s the reaction from just about everyone who’s heard the story.

“Its very disturbing,” said attorney Eric Seitz, adding that Bear’s escape is a serious public safety concern.

Records show the 51-year-old had been in OCCC about a month for violating a protective order against a sibling on two separate occasions.

“If somebody who’s being held on relatively minimal changes can escape that easily than anybody can escape,” Seitz said.

Public Safety officials took more than 10 hours to inform the public. The family member who filed the TRO was notified that Bear had escaped, sources said, but it’s unclear exactly when that happened.

Meanwhile, the director and the deputy director for Corrections denied HNN’s interview requests. Officials also wouldn’t answer specific questions about how Bear got out or what staffing was like at the time saying the incident is being investigated.

Seitz says the Public Safety Department has a history of withholding important information and added he’s sympathetic to the staff who work there.

“This is not the first instance where that’s happened. If you look at all the COVID information, the staffing information,” he said.

“They work under horrific conditions. They’re understaffed. They’re working long hours because they have to work overtime. And this is a facility that’s scheduled to be demolished and replaced because it’s really antiquated and inadequate.”

This is the second time in two and a half years that an inmate has breached the perimeter of OCCC.

In March 2019, Maurice Arrisgado was shot and killed during a foot pursuit shortly after running out of an open gate near the facility’s intake unit.

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