SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The South Bay house where the second inmate who had escaped from the Santa Clara County Jail was taken into custody Wednesday night was seriously damaged in the process.

Escaped inmate Rogelio Chavez spent his final hours on the run getting high.

He was one two men who authorities had been searching intensely for over the course of the past week.

The other escapee, Laron Campbell, was arrested Tuesday night, hiding in the attic of an apartment in Antioch where he fell through the ceiling right into the waiting arms of authorities.

Campbell is currently under psychiatric hold, according to police.

The two inmates sawed through metal bars of their cell at the Santa Clara County Jail and used clothing knotted together to shimmy down from second story window the night before Thanksgiving.


The chase came to an end at a duplex on Coy Drive in San Jose where the most wanted man in Santa Clara County made his last stand.

Lisa Martinez — the aunt of Karla Fernandez, the woman arrested Wednesday night for harboring Chavez — gave KPIX 5 cameras a tour of the damaged house.

A day later, there was still a lot of tear gas residue on everything in the home, causing a burning sensation in the eyes and lungs.

At one point, Santa Clara County deputies said Chavez was hiding in the attic.

Neighbor Ken Augustino took a photo that showed SWAT team members wearing gas masks with weapons drawn and aimed overhead as they tore down much of the ceiling in the living room, the kitchen and both bedrooms looking for Chavez.

“The only place to hide is either in a closet or in the attic,” explained Augustino. “So they go to the attic in desperation. But it’s like painting yourself into a corner.”

Deputies eventually found Chavez in a room where he had apparently gone on one last binge, He was found high on drugs with crack cocaine and marijuana nearby.

Emergency crews took Chavez off to the hospital after deputies arrested him.

Deputies also arrested 34-year-old Fernandez at the home and charged her with harboring a fugitive.

Martinez said deputies didn’t have to destroy the ceiling and trash the home.

She explained Fernandez had been sober and drug free and just regained custody of her 14-month old son.

“She’s just been trying so hard and worked really hard to get her son and get a place for him,” said Martinez. “To have the police constantly harassing her doesn’t make any sense.”

A mugshot of Chavez taken Thursday shows he appears to have used makeup to conceal the prominent and very recognizable facial tattoo over his left eye.

Chavez’s capture finally ends an intensive manhunt across the bay area with heavily armed deputies serving warrants all over the Bay Area for the past week.

Wednesday night, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said anyone who helped the escapees will be held responsible.

“The investigation is ongoing and there may be additional arrests in the future of people who have harbored Chavez during the time that he had escaped,” said Smith.

Comments (4)
  1. James Bowen says:

    Deserved. Don’t hide wanted fugitives in your home next time.

    1. Mark Barry says:

      Totally agree. Nor is it “harassing”, LOL.

  2. Miike Drrop says:

    Laron Campbell’s relatives were even worse – when interviewed after his & little sissy’s arrest, they clearly had no concept that one correct reaction to a jail-breaking , home-invading, illegal gun-wielding POS showing up at the door … is slamming it. They had a half dozen excuses why harboring escaped violent felons was the only reasonable path. sad & disgusting

  3. Suzanne Bitz says:

    are we supposed to feel sorry for her?

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