A man escaped from San Joaquin County Jail on Monday, and apparently was driven away by the woman police believe he tried to kill.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department reported Tuesday that Eric Hu, 32, of Stockton, traded his orange jail jumpsuit for another inmate’s blue honor farm clothes, then jumped into a waiting van.
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Les Garcia said Hu was in jail on suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping and weapons violations from a recent Stockton case.
Hu, who was staying in county jail, and Christopher Montano, 32, who was staying at the honor farm, were both in court Monday on the same stolen car case, separate from the attempted murder case. Garcia said the two men, who are about the same size and stature, switched clothes after the hearing while in the same holding cell.
Garcia said guards didn’t realize what had happened until Montano arrived at the main jail without any identification. Meanwhile, people at the honor farm saw an inmate jump into a maroon Dodge minivan driven by a dark-haired woman.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to lock down the two facilities fast enough,” Garcia said. He added that, based on the description of the woman, deputies believe she is Hu’s girlfriend, who told Stockton police that he tried to kill her.
Garcia added that Montano, who faced felony weapons and stolen property charges, now is housed in the main jail, where he faces a felony charge of aiding the escape of a prisoner.
Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s department at 468-4400.