Los Angeles

OC Jailbreak: Inmates Fought Over Killing Taxi Driver Taken Hostage, Authorities Say

Two of the three inmates who escaped from an Orange County jail fought over whether they should kill a taxi driver they kidnapped and held at a San Jose motel before one of them drove back to Southern California and surrendered to authorities, sheriff's officials said on Monday.

Five days into their eight days on the run after a jail break out of a maximum security lockup in Santa Ana, Hossein Nayeri and Bac Duong fought at the Alameda Motel in San Jose on Wednesday.

They couldn't agree over whether they should kill and bury a cabdriver who they kidnapped after their break out from the Men's Central Jail in downtown Santa Ana and who they took on a drive north to San Jose during their run from the law, said Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock during a Monday news conference.

Nayeri, 37, of Newport Beach, and Duong, 43 of Santa Ana, escaped, along with Jonathan Tieu, 20, of Fountain Valley, on Jan. 22. Duong surrendered Friday. Nayeri and Tieu were arrested Saturday morning in San Francisco. Ten people had been arrested since the escape. Several other arrests -- for unrelated warrants or probation issues -- also took place during the manhunt.

The night of their escape from a dormitory at the jail where they managed to climb to the roof to escape in a well-planned plot that was hatched last summer, the inmates called a taxi for a ride, first to go shopping at a Target store in Rosemead, then to use as part of their getaway plot when Duong allegedly pressed a gun to the ribs of the cabdriver and told him he's coming with them, Hallock said.

The fugitives and cabdriver spent a night at an unknown location in Los Angeles County before driving to San Jose where they spent three nights at the Alameda Motel, Hallock said.

It was during their stay that Duong and Nayeri fought over the cabbie's fate, Hallock said.

But Duong left with the cabdriver to return to Southern California when Nayeri and Tieu went out to get the windows tinted on a second getaway vehicle, a stolen white GMC van, Hallock said.

Duong eventually surrendered to authorities. Hallock did not say why he let the cabdriver go free. Duong's other two alleged accomplices were caught when a citizen spotted the white van in the parking lot of a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco's famed Haight-Ashbury district.

All three were returned to the Orange County Jail where they are expected to be arraigned on new charges on March 4.

The three inmates disappeared after a 5 a.m. body count in the jail, but they were not discovered missing until close to 9 p.m., when the second daily body count was conducted. Nayeri had been in custody since September 2014, Tieu since October 2013 and Duong since December.

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