Rock Springs Police Department

A 28-year-old man who was being transported from California to Cheyenne to face charges escaped yesterday in Rock Springs.

But John L. Ortega was soon recaptured, according to a release from the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office.

According to the release, Ortega was being transported by a private inmate transport vehicle when he got away during a rest stop in Rock Springs. He somehow got out of his restraints and fled the van on foot. Since Ortega is originally from Rock Springs, he was on familiar ground as he made his escape, and he remained at large for several hours.

But early this morning [Oct. 20], he was spotted by a Sweetwater County Sheriff's deputy in the 2300 block of Reagan Avenue. The deputy, with help from Rock Springs Police officers, began a foot chase of Ortega which ended with his capture in the 22oo block of Cripple Creek.

In addition to charges Ortega was already facing in California and Cheyenne, he now is facing additional Sweetwater County Charges of interference with a police officer and escape from official detention.

At last report he was in jail in Sweetwater County, waiting for an appearance before a judge there.

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