Ameen Hurst captured: Inmate who escaped Philadelphia prison taken into custody
PHILADELPHIA - The second of two inmates who escaped a Philadelphia prison and sparked a 10-day-long manhunt across the city was recaptured by U.S. Marshals, authorities announced Wednesday.
Ameen Hurst, who fled Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Facility with 24-year-old Nasir Grant on May 7, was taken into custody by federal agents on the 6100 block of Washington Avenue.
Hurst's brother, 24-year-old Amir Woods, was also arrested Wednesday morning on charges including Criminal Conspiracy, Hindering Apprehension, Escape.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by FOX 29's Kelly Rule, it's alleged that Woods helped Hurst arrange for transportation during his time away from prison.
Authorities believe that during Hurst's escape he traveled to New York before returning to Philadelphia where federal agents who were trying to negotiate his surrender brought him into custody.
"We didn’t know if this was a stall tactic, but we had certain locations we believed Hurst was hiding," U.S. Marshals Supervisory Deputy Robert Clark said.
U.S. Marshals say Hurst was arrested after missing three deadlines - one at midnight and two more early Wednesday morning - which were brokered his family members over the last few days.
Agents camped outside a property in Southwest Philadelphia Wednesday morning and closed in on Hurst and Woods as they were seen leaving a home and getting into a car.
Marshals swarmed the vehicle and pulled out both men. The arrest that brought the dayslong manhunt to an end was captured on video by a nextdoor neighbor from a second floor window.
A Philadelphia judge set Hurst's bail at $25M, but his outstanding murder charges mean he will stay behind bars.
Meanwhile, Woods - who has a full basketball scholarship to a university in Kentucky, according to a family member - is being held on $1M bail.
Sources tell FOX 29 doors to their hold cells and an outdoor recreation yard were left unlocked. It's alleged the pair were captured on video cutting a hole in a perimeter fence with an unknown tool.
From there, it's believed Hurst and Grant hopped two barbed wire fences and escaped onto the 8300 block of State Road.
Both men missed three separate headcounts before prison staff realized they were missing the afternoon following their escape. It was the first Philadelphia prison break since 2010.
Authorities caught up with Grant days later when Marshals spotted him leaving a North Philadelphia residence dressed in full female Muslim garb, according to investigators.
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Grant got into a car that agents tracked to a nearby parking lot where he was quietly recaptured. Grant, who was originally incarcerated on weapons charges, is now being held on $1M bail.
Authorities have also brought charges against three people who they accused of aiding the escape. Jose Flores-Huerta, an inmate at the prison, is accused of being a lookout during the escape.
Xianni Stalling, 21, is believed to have facilitated a phone call between Hurst and another man about the escape.
Michael Abrams, also 21, was tracked down by U.S. Marshals at a hotel outside Philadelphia for his alleged involvement in the prison break.
The escape left Philadelphia residents on edge and revealed the need for more oversight over Philadelphia prisons.
Pennsylvania Prison Society, a non-profit organization that monitors all county and state prisons in Pennsylvania, says it evaluated the Philadelphia Department of Prisons's five facilities for two years and raised a number of red flags; including concerns about staffing.
"The staffing crisis is perhaps the most visible and potentially led to this, or impacted this escape, but it’s also impacted the lives and basic rights of 4,500 Philadelphians on a daily basis," Prison Managing Director Noah Barth said.
Barth called the challenges facing the city's prison system a "real crisis" that needs "serious addressing" from Philadelphia's leadership.