VALPARAISO — The 25-year-old Portage man accused of fleeing from Porter County Jail late Monday morning has been captured.
Michael Maldonado was caught Tuesday by the Burns Harbor Police Department, Police Chief Mike Heckman confirmed Tuesday night.
Police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle at about 8:15 p.m. on Old Porter Road and South Babcock Road, Heckman said.
Maldonado allegedly fled from the passenger side of the car in attempt to flee yet again, leading police on a foot pursuit to a nearby wooded area, where he was placed into custody.
Before his escape from the Porter County Jail late Monday, Maldonado twice attempted to run from Portage police officers during his arrest earlier that day according to police.
Maldonado, who had been pulled over with a woman and infant just after 10 a.m. Monday along U.S. 20 in Portage, attempted to push past police when a glass crack pipe and hypodermic needle fell from his clothing during a search, according to a newly released Portage police report.
Maldonado had to be struck with a stun gun to be handcuffed, but began running away while being escorted to a police car, police said.
Maldonado was placed in a hobble restraint, according to police. While stopping the second of two times to let Maldonado lean out of the vehicle and try to vomit, the officer said he noticed a buckle on the restraint was no longer secure, but he did not tighten it because it appeared to still be holding Maldonado's hands and feet together.
The officer said he requested help from the jail before arriving, but found no one waiting after pulling into the enclosed sally port at the facility. He locked his weapon in the trunk of his car and then noticed Maldonado flee from the vehicle at 11:15 a.m. and out of the building under the closing garage door, according to police.
The closed garage door prevented police from immediately pursuing Maldonado, according to the report. The Portage officers said they repeatedly pushed a communication button and pounded on the booking room door before another outside door was opened to allow their pursuit.
The officers said the delay prevented them from knowing which direction to pursue Maldonado.
Maldonado fled from the jail barefoot and in handcuffs, according to police.
He remained at large until his arrest in Burns Harbor Tuesday.
A felony escape charge was filed Tuesday against Maldonado, in addition to felony counts of unlawful possession of a syringe and resisting law enforcement, according to court records. Maldonado also faces misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement and possession of paraphernalia, and a citation for driving with a suspended license.
Police said they found three plastic bags with a white powdery substance in a child's diaper bag in the vehicle Maldonado was driving.
Candice Bruns, 19, of Lake Station, who was traveling with Maldonado, was also arrested and family was called to retrieve the infant found in the vehicle, police said.
A car stolen just a couple of hours after the escape from nearby Pratt Industries was recovered at 3:37 p.m. Monday in the area of Juniper Road and County Road 700 North in South Haven, police said. Police believe the escape and theft were related.
The Porter County Sheriff's Department released two videos Tuesday of the escape. One video shows the man fleeing from a Portage police car inside of the jail's sally port area, and the other shows him running outside the jail.
Portage police have assigned a couple of detectives to the case and have been following up with known associates of Maldonado, Public Information Officer James Maynard said.