Crime

Inmate who escaped Fresno County Jail by swapping ID with cellmate returns to jail, surrenders

David Warren Riggins, 19, of Fresno, escaped Fresno County Jail Wednesday morning.
David Warren Riggins, 19, of Fresno, escaped Fresno County Jail Wednesday morning. Fresno County Sheriff

A man who escaped Fresno County Jail on Wednesday morning by swapping identification bracelets with a cellmate returned to the jail and surrendered to officers early Thursday morning, Fresno County sheriff’s officials said.

David Warren Riggins, 19, of Fresno walked into the jail’s main lobby about 12:45 a.m. Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said Riggins told officers he knew law enforcement authorities were hunting for him and that he was tired of hiding.

Botti said Riggins was originally taken into custody Sept. 19 for an outstanding warrant. Authorities said he had failed to obey an order from a juvenile court and is a registered sex offender. He was not supposed to be released until Oct. 28, 2016.

Riggins and another inmate swapped bracelets and memorized each other’s personal information, Botti said. Both Riggins and the other inmate, who is 24 but was not identified, are African American, around 6 feet tall and 135 pounds.

Botti said the other inmate was due to be released Wednesday after serving his time. Instead, Riggins left in his place around 8 a.m. – fooling correctional officers to walk out the door nearly a full year before his scheduled release date. The other inmate remained in jail and now faces an additional charge for aiding the escape of an inmate.

Riggins now faces new charges: one for the escape and another for conspiracy to commit a crime.

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