Inmate's escape from Hennepin County jail lasts 3 hours, 12 miles

November 28, 2018 10:14 PM

A man with a long history of breaking into homes and businesses found a way to break out of the Hennepin County jail Wednesday.

Michael Simon ran free for three hours and 12 miles.

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His escape from the Hennepin County jail started at 7 a.m. on the seventh floor. Sources said he was working kitchen detail and wasn't handcuffed.

Lt. Shane Magnuson with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said how exactly he escaped is part of the ongoing investigation.

RELATED: Man who escaped from Hennepin County Adult Detention Center found in Little Canada

"There’s never been an escape before," he said.

Sources said Simon smashed a window, shimmied down the side of the building, ran across the top of the skyway into a parking ramp and eventually made it to street level. The getaway caused commotion and curiosity for folks working downtown.

Investigators said a surveillance camera system tracked Simon to the Stone Arch Bridge. They lost sight of him somewhere along the river. He was recaptured in Little Canada hours later.

"We had an area of targeted interest and we did a targeted stop at that location," Magnuson said.

Sheriff-elect Dave Hutchinson said upgrading jail security will be his first priority when he takes over in January.

The county attorney said Simon could face another charge and more prison time. He is now being held in the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights.

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Beth McDonough

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