Police across the Central Coast are on the hunt for Richard Sasse, a 28-year-old man that escaped from medium-security jail in Watsonville on Thursday night.
Sasse is part of a cafeteria work crew, and was able to use his access to the staff lounge to flee at 11 p.m. Thursday, Sheriff's Deputy April Skalland told Patch. As part of the privileged work crew, Skalland said Sasse could buzz himself in and out of the cafeteria to the staff lounge.
He rigged the door to the staff lounge so that could use it without buzzing in, allowing himself to go in unnoticed. From there, Skalland said he crawled through the food slot into the kitchen and walked out the unguarded kitchen exit. The food slot is what staff uses to return dishes and food to the kitchen. According to Skalland, it's about 18 inches by 18 inches.
Although he made his break at 11 p.m. Thursday, his absence wasn't noticed until a lunchtime head count at 11 a.m. Friday, giving Sasse a 12-hour headstart on authorities. According to Skalland, he is six feet tall, 150 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. His residence is listed as being in Salinas, so Skalland said it's possible he headed south.
Sasse was being held on pending robbery charges. He had yet to be sentenced at the time of his escape.
Anyone with information on Sasse or his whereabouts should call 911 or contact the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office at 831-454-2311 or the anonymous tip line at 831-454-2847.