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Two Remaining Escaped California Inmates Captured

The two remaining inmates who escaped from an Orange County jail last week have been captured in Northern California, authorities said.
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The two remaining inmates who escaped from an Orange County, California, jail were captured Saturday morning about 400 miles north in the Bay Area, authorities said.

Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were arrested by San Francisco police at 8:50 a.m. near Golden Gate Park following a tip, authorities said. A civilian had pointed officers to a 2008 white GMC Savana utility van that the inmates reportedly stole.

After being spotted, Nayeri fled but was captured a short time later, while Tieu was found hiding in the van — bringing an end to the intense eight-day manhunt for the escapees described as "very dangerous."

The officers, who had been on an unrelated medical call, found .380 ammunition rounds in the van but no weapons, according to police.

No officers were injured during the pursuit or apprehension, officials said.

“The entire state can breathe a sigh of relief,” said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens during a news conference Saturday.

Bac Duong, 43, who escaped from the Orange County Central Men's Jail with Tieu and Nayeri surrendered to authorities Friday.

Hutchens said he had already been interviewed, and Tieu and Nayeri would be interviewed before being returned to Orange County Central Men's Jail.

The three inmates escaped on Jan. 22 by using a makeshift rope to rappel from the roof of the facility. Steel bars and a grate had been severed with tools.

Hutchens said the escape was being investigated so that jail officials could make security improvements, and the inmates would be housed separately in a different section of the jail than where they were originally kept.

A teacher at the jail, Nooshafarin Ravaghi, 44, was arrested Thursday and for allegedly providing Google Earth images showing the area around the jail to Nayeri.

No other jail personnel has been disciplined, but staff from “the top down” would be investigated in the escape, Hutchens said.

Investigators are also working to determine if anyone else helped the inmates escape, Hutchens said. “If anyone else aided and abetted them, they’re going to be prosecuted,” she said.

Duong, charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man in Santa Ana in November, arrived at the jail in December.

Tieu had been at the jail since October 2013 on charges of murder, attempted murder and street terrorism.

Nayeri, charged in the torture and mutilation of a California marijuana dispensary owner in 2012, has been at the jail since 2014. He had fled to Iran where he lived for several months, but was arrested by the FBI in Prague in 2013.

“As I’ve said before, this is one of a sheriff’s worst nightmares. No sheriff wants to have an escape especially as dangerous as these individuals were,” Hutchens said. “My fear was that someone in the community was going to get hurt because they really had nothing to lose.”