Manhunt underway for escaped California inmate

Maurice Ainsworth was being transported to a hospital when he used a stun gun on a deputy and took off with her gun

By Associated Press
Published November 30, 2010 12:08AM (EST)

Authorities searched Monday for an escaped inmate in Northern California they said used a stun gun on a female deputy and took her gun while he was being transported to a hospital.

The manhunt for suspect Maurice Ainsworth, 24, prompted foot and aerial searches, lockdowns at area schools and evacuations of some homes in the neighborhood, authorities said.

Ainsworth was being transported to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz when the escape occurred around 11:30 a.m., said Santa Cruz County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Campos. Ainsworth overpowered the deputy and took her .40-caliber handgun, he said.

The suspect then shot at another person before running away, said Campos, who did not immediately know if that person was injured from the shooting.

An injured deputy was listed in fair condition at Dominican, according to a statement by hospital spokesman Mike Lee, who didn't immediately detail the injuries.

Shortly after the escape, a parent at the nearby Secret Garden Too preschool reported seeing a man with a gun. Cathy Latorre, who owns the preschool, later told the Santa Cruz Sentinel the 30 children in the preschool were fine.

Deputies described Ainsworth as 6 feet 7 inches tall and 275 pounds. He initially was wearing a yellow jumpsuit, but deputies believe he changed into a brown jacket and plaid pants.

Ainsworth had been in jail awaiting trial on charges that he committed a home invasion robbery on March 27, 2009, according to the Sentinel. He and co-defendant Jyler Raines are accused of breaking into a Los Gatos home with three people inside and stealing jewelry, wallets, bank information and a car.

Ainsworth was scheduled to go to trial Jan. 10 on four felony counts.

He also has a criminal history that includes theft and injuring a police officer, the Sentinel said.

Associated Press

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