Florida inmate with ‘history of violent behavior’ captured after escaping state hospital: police

A tattoo-covered Florida inmate “with a history of violent behavior” was recaptured Wednesday, more than 12 hours after he climbed a fence and escaped from a state hospital where he was being treated, authorities said.

John Ireland, 33, eluded authorities until a resident recognized the escaped patient’s tattooed face in Oakland Park and alerted police, the Pembroke Pines Police Department wrote in a news release early Thursday.

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The agency said Ireland will be charged for his escape from South Florida State Hospital, where he was a court-ordered patient. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, police said.

The search for Ireland began nearly three hours after his escape, police said.

The search for Ireland began nearly three hours after his escape, police said. (Pembroke Pines Police Department)

Police described Ireland as a 6-foot-5-inch, 200-pound male with facial tattoos. One tattoo on his right cheek appeared to contain the word “death.”

He climbed an exterior fence and escaped the facility around 4 p.m., police said. However, the search didn’t begin until nearly three hours later, when police responded at 6:45 p.m., according to the news release. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the delay.

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“Officers conducted an extensive search in the surrounding areas, including K-9 and BSO Aviation Units, but due to the time delay the subject could not be located,” the agency said.

Ireland was serving a one-year sentence for petty theft and drug possession, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. He was previously jailed on battery and grand theft charges.