One of two inmates who escaped from a Philadelphia prison early this week was captured Thursday night while dressed as a woman, federal authorities said.
Members of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force were conducting surveillance in an area of North Philadelphia where they believed 24-year-old Nasir Grant was staying, said Robert Clark, a supervisory deputy with the Marshals Service Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Shortly before 10:30 p.m., a man resembling Grant “came out of a residence wearing full female Muslim garb and a head covering,” Clark told journalists.
Grant got into a car and authorities followed it and stopped him nearby.
“I believe he was thoroughly surprised,” Clark said, adding that Grant was taken into custody without any problem.
“He submitted to our commands, and it was pretty much an uneventful arrest, which is the way we like it,” Clark said.
The search continued for Ameen Hurst, 18, who escaped with Grant from the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center on Sunday night by cutting a hole in a fence surrounding a recreation yard, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons has said.
Clark described the search for the two men as “exhausting,” with all task force members working 16- to 18-hour days. The arrest of Grant will allow the task force to focus on the hunt for Hurst, he said.
The men were aided by a woman in the city, who authorities said Thursday had been charged with escape and conspiracy.
A judge set bail at $500,000 for Xianni Stalling, though that ruling was being appealed by prosecutors who had sought $2 million bail. She was arrested around 1 a.m. Wednesday by U.S. Marshals. She was being represented by the public defender’s office, which declined to comment.
Hurst and Grant were gone for nearly 19 hours before officials knew they were missing.
Hurst had been charged with four counts of murder, while Grant was being held on conspiracy drug charges and conspiracy weapons charges. Officials have said the inmates were housed in the same unit, but different cells.
Authorities say Stalling received a phone call from one of the inmates before the escape, CBS Philadelphia reports, but police wouldn’t identify who made the call or when. It’s unclear how Stalling is connected to the escaped prisoners.
She was also charged with hindering apprehension and use of a communication facility.