Joseph Andrew Dekenipp, 40, escaped his Arizona jail on Friday to have dinner with his girlfriend, but he was caught just after meeting up with his Valentine’s Day sweetheart.
Dekenipp had to climb a 12-foot fence, crawl through razor wire and scale another wire-topped fence to escape the Pinal County Adult Detention Center, where he was being held. He is being treated for serious wounds he received in the process of escaping and will be returned to the detention center.
He was arrested without incident three hours after his escape, at the Gallopin’ Goose Saloon & Grill, where he was meeting his girlfriend, about 13 miles away from the jail.
Officials say he told inmates he was broken-hearted being away from his girlfriend for so long. He has been in custody since Jan. 10 after being arrested for suspicion of vehicle theft, trafficking in stolen property, unlawful flight and driving on a suspended license.
The sheriff’s office says they followed Dekenipp’s trail with K-9 units and suspected he had gotten into a car. He had plain clothes on when he was found at the Gallopin’ Goose.
He’ll now face an escape charge as well. The sheriff’s office is investigating whether Dekenipp had help from fellow inmates in his escape.