How 2 inmates were able to escape from a Philadelphia prison, according to court documents
Two Philadelphia inmates planned and executed an escape from prison with the help of a lookout on the inside, a hole in a prison fence and a quick call to Uber, court documents state.
Nasir Grant and Ameen Hurst are now back in custody, after a 10-day investigation that spanned three states and led to charges for four additional people.
Three hours before breaking out of the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center, 18-year-old Hurst made a phone call, according to the documents obtained by CNN.
Someone picked up, then passed the phone to an “unknown male.”
“Meet at the bridge behind (the prison),” Hurst told the man on the recorded line.
After that call, the escape was a go.
Hurst and 24-year-old Grant slipped out of their cells around 8:30 p.m. on May 7. They crawled to the shower area of their cell block and waited for Jose Flores-Huerta, another inmate checking the guard tower, to give the all-clear, an affidavit of probable cause states.
Hurst and Grant then snuck out an exit and moved through a hole cut in a prison fence. They climbed over two additional barbwire barriers and rushed off into the night.
Nearly all of this was caught on camera, though Philadelphia law enforcement did not notice for nearly 19 hours, court documents say.
“Clearly the system screwed up and people didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” said a visibly frustrated Mayor Jim Kenney the Monday after the escape.
Inmates recaptured; four others charged with helping them escape and evade capture
Both inmates were caught by US marshals within 10 days of the escape and four additional people now face charges for helping them escape prison and evade capture.
The number Hurst called that Sunday afternoon prior to the escape belonged to 21-year-old Xianni Stalling, according to the documents. At the end of the call, Hurst was recorded saying, “Love ya Xiang.”
Stalling’s name was also used to book an Uber ride for Hurst and Grant after the pair broke out. The Uber was called to an intersection more than two miles away from the prison and drove the escapees to an address in South Philadelphia.
During the ride, Hurst called someone named “Mike,” whom police identified as Michael Abrams, the court documents state. Police say Abrams and Hurst are affiliated with the same gang.
Marshals followed dozens of tips during their manhunt for Hurst and Grant, and the investigation spanned Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.
Grant was found three days after the escape in Philadelphia, disguised in “full female Muslim garb” and a head covering, according to the US Marshals Service.
Nine days after the escape, a family member of 18-year-old Hurst called law enforcement to negotiate his voluntary surrender, the marshals service said.
After negotiations failed and the family missed three deadlines to turn Hurst in, marshals went to a residence where they believed Hurst would be hiding out and captured him entering a car with his mother and brother. Hurst was taken into custody without incident along with his brother, Amir Woods.
Stalling, Abrams, and Woods were each charged with four felonies for allegedly helping Hurst and Grant escape. Flores-Huerta was charged with two felonies related to the prison break.
Gina Amoriello, Hurst’s attorney, told CNN she is “interested as his attorney to conduct a full investigation regarding the circumstances of the events, and to review all available evidence.”
“I hope that the public, which includes potential jurors, do not rush to judgment without full information,” Amoriello said.
Attorneys for Stalling, Abrams and Flores-Huerta declined to comment on the charges. CNN has reached out to attorneys for Woods and Grant for comment.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.
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