Escaped Geiger inmate caught, rescued from creek

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by KREM.com

NWCN.com

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 11:53 AM

SPOKANE -- Spokane Police confirmed escaped Geiger inmate Michael Wheeler is in their custody.

Emergency crews launched a marine rescue near High Bridge Park just before 7:00 p.m. Wednesday to fish a pursuit suspect out of Latah Creek.

Police said officers were keeping watch on a home in the 1200 block of South Chesnutt, because they believed Wheeler was inside.

Authorities said Wheeler became spooked, dashed out of the house and dove into Latah Creek.

Police said Wheeler could not make it out of the creek because the bank was too high to climb out, so officers convinced him to turn around and meet them where he jumped in, near High Bridge Park.

He was fished out of the creek and taken to an area hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

An earlier report from Spokane Police suggested Wheeler jumped into the creek following a pursuit, but officers have since corrected the information.

Wheeler is accused of escaping from Geiger Corrections Center on South Spotted Road Sunday afternoon. He was last seen working in the kitchen, and a later count revealed him missing.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies said Wheeler has a criminal history that includes elduing police, possession of stolen vehicle, assault, burglary, theft, possession of stolen property and illegal fire arms possession.

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