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Escaped inmate caught in northwest Indiana

Michael Maldonado | Porter County police

A man who escaped from custody Monday morning while being taken into the Porter County Jail was captured Tuesday in northwest Indiana.

Police in Burns Harbor, Indiana, located and arrested 25-year-old Michael Maldonado, the Porter County Sheriff’s Office announced shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Maldonado jumped out of a Portage police squad car about 11:15 a.m. Monday as he was being taken into the jail at 2755 IN-49 in Valparaiso, according to the Porter County Sheriff’s Office. He then made it under a closing garage door and took off.

Deputies and officers from neighboring agencies subsequently searched the area for about two hours without finding him, the sheriff’s office said.

Valparaiso police officers then responded about 1:40 p.m. to a call of a gray 2013 Ford Focus that was stolen from a parking lot at nearby Pratt Industries, 3155 IN-49, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators believed the incident was related to Maldonado’s escape.

The Focus was found about two hours later in South Haven, the sheriff’s office said.

Prior to his escape, Maldonado was taken into custody on charges of resisting officers, resisting officers with injury and possession of a hypodermic that stemmed from a traffic stop in Portage, the sheriff’s office said.