Bac Duong, one of the three inmates who escaped from the Orange County Men’s Central Jail, turned himself in Friday morning, said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
Duong, 43, was arrested about 11:50 a.m. after he got in touch with a woman in Santa Ana. He was arrested without incident near the Auto Electric Rebuilders shop at 1421 N. Harbor Blvd.
“Duong contacted a civilian on the streets of Santa Ana and stated that he wanted to turn himself in,” Hutchens said.
Trin Nguyen, whose father-in-law owns the shop, said Duong walked into the building and told his wife that he wanted to turn himself in. He said his wife seemed scared. She called police.
Nguyen, who has known Duong for 10 years, said “he’s a good friend of mine, he’s a good person. I think he was scared. He just showed up and told my wife.”
Other employees at the store also spoke to the throng of media:
The other inmates – Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu – were not arrested and are still fugitives. After the arrest, investigators conducted a car-by-car search in the Auto Electric Rebuilders parking lot with their guns drawn. They are also searching an adjacent motel.
Duong had been held on an attempted murder charge after a shooting in Santa Ana in November.
Investigators said Duong stole a car on Saturday, and they believe all three inmates were living in the white utility van. That GMC van is still missing.
Stolen Vehicle ACTUAL 2008 White GMC Savana Utility Lic: 8U66466 plates/stickers may have been removed pic.twitter.com/MASIlWnYxe
— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSD) January 29, 2016
Duong arrived in the United States from Vietnam in 1991. He initially received a green card, making him a legal permanent resident of the United States.
In 1995, Duong was convicted of burglary in San Diego.
Three years later, a judge ordered that he be removed from the country and returned to Vietnam, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement. An appeals board upheld the ruling.
During that time frame, however, Vietnam routinely rejected requests to accept deportees, refusing to issue required travel documents.
Duong was once again placed in ICE custody in 2003, but was released the next year, according to the statement.
Immigration officials are not able to keep people locked up indefinitely, unless they pose a national security risk.
After his 2004 release, and for the next decade, Duong reported on schedule to immigration officials.
In 2008, Vietnam came to an agreement with the United States to issue travel documents for those being deported. The accord, however, pertained only to those who entered the United States after July 12, 1995.
In November, Duong was arrested after police say he shot a 52-year-old man in the chest. He is also facing charges on suspicion of stealing a motorcycle and resisting arrest.
After his latest arrest, ICE officers placed a hold against Duong, asking the Sheriff’s Department to notify them before he could be released. As a result, Duong was being held without bail at the time of his escape.
Staff writer Sean Emery contributed to this report.