Teacher arrested for helping 3 inmates escape Calif. jail

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A woman who taught English classes at a Southern California jail was arrested Thursday on suspicion of helping three inmates -- including an alleged killer -- escape the lockup, and the men are believed to be riding around in a stolen van.

See Full Article

Nooshafarin Ravaghi, 44, of Lake Forest, was arrested nearly a week after the men -- one an alleged killer -- cut their way through steel bars, climbed through plumbing tunnels, made their way to the roof, cut razor wire and, using rope made of braided bedsheets, rappelled four stories to freedom from the roof of the Orange County Central Men's Jail. The escape on Jan. 22 wasn't noticed for 16 hours.

It was the first escape from the maximum-security lockup in more than 20 years.

Ravaghi was taken into custody about an hour before the arrest was announced Thursday afternoon and remained jailed. It was unclear whether she had an attorney.

Ravaghi worked for the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which provides free non-credit classes as a community service. A spokeswoman for the college district declined immediate comment.

Ravaghi had taught English as a second language to inmates at the jail for about six months, sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

One of her students was Hossein Nayeri, who was awaiting trial on charges that he kidnapped and tortured a marijuana dispensary owner -- finally cutting off his penis -- in a bid to learn where he might have cached money.

"There was some type of relationship that developed between the two" that was close, Hallock said, but he didn't know whether it was a romance.

Ravaghi denied supplied any tools to the inmates, but investigators suspect she provided Google maps that potentially could have helped the inmates plan their route after fleeing the jail, Hallock said.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has said that Nayeri, 37, is believed to be the mastermind of the escape.

Hallock said investigators believe he and the others -- alleged killer Bac Duong, 43, and Jonathan Tieu, 20 -- are living in a white GMC Savana van that was stolen on Sunday in southern Los Angeles.

Duong apparently stole the vehicle from someone after responding to a sales ad and taking it for a test drive, Hallock said. "They may be driving around and potentially living in the back" of the van, he said.

Hallock said the ongoing manhunt has led to about 10 arrests so far in connection with the escape, with several other arrests made in connection with unrelated arrest warrants or probation violations. None of those arrests were of jail employees.

The investigation has centred on a Vietnamese gang in the nearby cities of Westminster and Garden Grove with ties to two of the inmates.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Three helicopters, 70 people search for four missing hunters in northern Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    FORT CHIPEWYAN, Alta. -- A search for four hunters missing in the remote northeastern Alberta wilderness is ramping up with three helicopters and more than 70 people. RCMP say the hunters left Fort Chipewyan on Sunday night in a boat on the Rocher River. Source
  • Captive woman found in pit in Ohio man’s shed: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    BLANCHESTER, Ohio — Police in Ohio say a crying woman was being held captive in a pit inside her neighbour’s backyard shed, and the man was arrested on a charge of kidnapping. Blanchester police say Dennis Dunn has a history of mental health issues and was taken to a hospital. Source
  • Kevin O'Leary drops out of Conservative leadership race, will endorse Maxime Bernier

    Canada News CBC News
    Kevin O'Leary is dropping out of the Conservative leadership race and will endorse Maxime Bernier. The businessman and reality TV star is ending his campaign only hours before the last leadership debate in Toronto, and two days before party members can start casting their ballots. Source
  • South Korea installs parts of U.S. defence system against North Korean missiles

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Ahead of an extraordinary White House briefing for senators, South Korea on Wednesday started installing key parts of a contentious U.S. defence system against missiles from North Korea. And America’s Pacific commander said any North Korean missile fired at U.S. Source
  • Security camera captures package being taken from front step

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in London, Ont. are on the hunt for a so-called “Amazon bandit” after surveillance video uploaded to YouTube shows an Amazon package being taken from a home’s front step. YouTube user Anthony Taylor posted a short video titled “The Amazon Bandit” on April 22, which shows a woman in a hooded sweatshirt calmly riding her bike onto a driveway in the city’s north end before she disembarks and walks up to the home’s front door. Source
  • U.S. ups Korean defences, top admiral says forces are capable

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Ahead of an extraordinary White House briefing for senators, South Korea on Wednesday started installing key parts of a contentious U.S. defence system against missiles from North Korea. And America's Pacific commander said any North Korean missile fired at U.S. Source
  • NASA’s Cassini spacecraft flies between Saturn and its rings in historic first

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has ventured into the never-before-explored region between Saturn and its rings. But flight controllers won’t know how everything went until Thursday when they are back in touch with the craft. Source
  • One arrested, one hurt in fight, stabbing, following east Vancouver bus ride

    Canada News CTV News
    Vancouver Police are investigating a fight and stabbing that involved two bus passengers on the city's east side. In a news release from Const. Jason Doucette says the fight between a 15-year-old youth and a 32-year-old man occurred on a BC Transit bus at about 9 p.m. Source
  • Large volume of cocaine-cutting agent at core of Calgary drug bust

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Charges have been laid against two Calgary residents who are accused of illegally importing what investigators call a record amount of a pharmaceutical drug that's used as a cutting agent for cocaine. Police say the Canada Border Services Agency alerted them in January about the importation of phenacetin, a pain-reliever that's regulated under the Food and Drugs Act because of its potential cancer-causing properties. Source
  • Video linked to Serena McKay homicide needs to be pulled off Facebook, chief says

    Canada News CBC News
    The chief of Manitoba's Sagkeeng First Nation wants the video of a vicious attack on a young woman — some say the same woman later found dead in the community — pulled off Facebook. The body of the woman believed to be the victim in the video, 19-year-old Serena McKay, was found Sunday night near a home in the community 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. Source