A convicted child rapist who escaped custody at the Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday helped himself to a court commissioner's leather jacket before walking out the front door of the court building, says a source close to the investigation.
Adrian Gonzalez Cruz, 28, showed up to a court hearing dressed in a long-sleeved, button-down shirt and baggy trousers when a deputy from the Maricopa Sheriff's Office left him alone in a holding area. Cruz, who's serving a life sentence for impregnating a 9-year-old child, was transferred from a state prison to Phoenix on Tuesday for a hearing related to new sexual misconduct charges.
In an interview with Channel 5, (KPHO-TV), Brian Lee of the sheriff's office explains that Cruz must have "manipulated" the handcuffs chaining him to the floor in the holding area.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Cruz then waltzed into the chambers of David Cunanan and stole the commissioner's black leather jacket before finalizing his escape, the source tells New Times. (Commissioners perform many of the same duties as judges, but judges are appointed by the governor, whereas commissioners are appointed by the court's presiding judge).
The theft seems to indicate Cruz had plenty of time to execute his plan, which raises more questions about how the sheriff's office allowed the escape to occur.
Maybe Sheriff Arpaio will pull a few deputies off the immigration beat to help find this fugitive perv.