Ariz. inmate makes Valentine's Day escape

A Pinal County, Ariz., inmate looking to spend some time with his valentine was taken into custody more than three hours after he escaped from jail earlier Friday.

Officials said Joseph Andrew Dekenipp, 40, was arrested without incident in Coolidge, about 10 miles southwest of Florence, where the Pinal County Adult Detention Center is located.

Dekenipp had made his way to the Gallopin' Goose Saloon & Grill, where he was set to meet with his girlfriend.

She had just barely arrived by the time authorities caught up with Dekenipp, according to bar patrons.

A statement issued by the sheriff's office said he would receive medical treatment before being returned to county jail.

Officials say Dekenipp would have had to scale a 12-foot fence, crawl through razor wire, and scale another wire-topped fence in order to leave the premises.

Sheriff's officials are investigating what part, if any, other inmates may have had in Dekenipp's escape. Officials say he told other inmates he was broken-hearted for having been away from his girlfriend for so long.

The couple may be parted for even longer now.

Dekenipp has been in jail since his arrest Jan. 10 on suspicion of vehicle theft, trafficking in stolen property, unlawful flight, theft and driving on a suspended license. His bond was set at $5,000.

Given he's now facing an escape charge, it's unlikely a judge will allow his release on bond.


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