Arizona inmate uses basketball hoop to leap to freedom

PHOENIX Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:32am EDT

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - A physically fit felon escaped from a detention facility in Arizona by scaling a basketball hoop in the yard and then jumping from it onto a fence, authorities said on Monday.

Wade Cole Dickinson, 28, remains at large more than two weeks after fleeing from the Yavapai County Detention Facility, a report by the local sheriff's office said.

Investigators say he climbed the 10-foot-tall hoop and used it as platform to leap to the fence. From there he pulled apart a seam in the fencing, it said, reached the center's roof and then scaled another fence separating him from freedom.

Dickinson, who listed his occupation as a personal trainer, was awaiting transfer to prison after being sentenced to 24 years on charges including fraud, trafficking in stolen property, drug possession and illegal possession of a firearm.

The report by the sheriff's office found that officials at the detention center knew he was an escape risk, but that no one was watching him in the yard when he made his July 12 getaway.

A video camera monitoring the area had been broken, apparently with a basketball, prior to the escape, it said.

A $5,000 reward has been posted for information leading to Dickinson's arrest.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)

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