MEDFORD (CBS) – The State Police trooper who captured escaped inmate James Morales in Somerville after five days on the run says it was a “team effort.”
Police in the Boston area were searching for the fugitive after two attempted bank robberies Thursday.
State Police said Morales tried to rob a Bank of America in Cambridge’s Central Square Thursday morning. Trooper Joseph Merrick was in the area of McGrath Highway and Broadway in Somerville for a report of a second attempted bank robbery when he spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description.
“After a foot chase, a couple fences, I was able to get him into custody with the help of two Somerville detectives,” Trooper Merrick said. “It’s a team effort so I am glad I could help out.”
Trooper Merrick, who was a correctional officer prior to joining the State Police, says they identified Morales by his neck tattoo.
Merrick said Morales did not say anything when he was taken into custody and brought to the Medford State Police barracks.
“After the foot chase he was exhausted so it was not much of a fight,” Merrick said.
Trooper Brendan Cain, who was not far behind, said Trooper Merrick showed tremendous instinct. “He was able to pursue him on foot approximately a quarter mile over fences,” Trooper Cain said. “It was just a great job.”
Watch: Trooper Merrick Press Conference
Authorities say Morales escaped from the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island on New Year’s Eve, stole a car in Attleboro and ditched it in Framingham.
Trooper Merrick said Morales, who cut through fencing, climbed onto the prison’s roof, and went through several layers of razor, had only minor cuts at the time of his arrest.
Morales was being held on charges he stole six assault rifles and 10 handguns from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester in 2015. He was scheduled to make a court appearance in connection with the weapons theft on Friday.
Morales was also indicted on charges he raped an 8-year-old girl in Cambridge.