Escaped inmate arrested at Jack in the Box - KPTV - FOX 12

Man accused of escaping prison days before release faces new charges

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Matthew Medlin Matthew Medlin
Medlin in court Thursday Medlin in court Thursday
2013 booking photos of Matthew Medlin 2013 booking photos of Matthew Medlin
Matthew Medlin booking photos dating back to 2002. Most recent photo is in the middle. Matthew Medlin booking photos dating back to 2002. Most recent photo is in the middle.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A sex offender accused of escaping from a northeast Portland prison just days before he was set to be released was caught nine hours later at a fast food restaurant in north Portland.

Now, he's facing new criminal charges.

Police said Matthew Medlin, 30, escaped from the Columbia River Correctional Institute at 12:37 p.m. Wednesday after climbing the fence. The prison is located at 9111 N.E. Sunderland Ave., near Northeast 33rd and Marine Drive.

Police said they searched the area with officers, K-9 units and the Air Support Unit, along with assistance from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police, but they initially had no luck finding him.

"It made us very nervous around here," said Nancy Mottaz, who runs Dignity Village, a transitional homeless development, that sits near the prison. "We stepped up our security. We posted some people on our back fences that are closest to the prison."

The active neighborhood search was suspended Wednesday evening. But just a few hours later, police received word from a corrections officer who saw a person matching Medlin's description.

North Precinct officers found Medlin at a Jack in the Box near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and he wasn't cooperative with commands to get on the ground, police said.

Eventually, after numerous officers arrived, Medlin surrendered.

Photos: Inmate escapes Portland prison, caught at restaurant

He suffered cuts when he climbed the prison fence so paramedics treated him Wednesday night. He was then booked in the Multnomah County Jail, before being returned to prison to finish his previous sentence.

He appeared in court Thursday and is now charged with second-degree escape. A future court date was not immediately available.

Medlin was most recently incarcerated on charges of burglary, sex abuse and assault. He was set to be released on May 6 after serving his time on those charges.

Medlin also has an extensive criminal history going back to the time he turned 18 years old. His arrests and convictions include unauthorized use of a vehicle, sex abuse, assault and failing to report as a sex offender twice.

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