American says he escaped Indonesian jail due to extortion

An American man who was recaptured after escaping from an overcrowded prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali says he fled because of extortion by other inmates.

Christian Beasley escaped during heavy rain on Dec. 10 from the Kerobokan penitentiary in Bali's provincial capital by sawing through a ceiling and then jumping over a 6-meter (20-foot) high wall behind the prison.

The 32-year-old Californian was recaptured on Saturday in an alley near a beach on the neighboring tourist island of Lombok. He was arrested in August while allegedly trying to pick up a package of hashish.

Appearing at a news conference Wednesday, Beasley says he was blackmailed by other inmates to pay $370 but he could not afford it and was punched in the stomach.