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Kidnaping by 2 Escapees Reported

Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

June 21, 1989

Four men who escaped from the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles remained at large Wednesday, but authorities were investigating a report that two of the men kidnaped and attacked a patron at a Wilmington cocktail lounge shortly after the escape.

Los Angeles Police Cmdr. William Booth said police were investigating a report that James Wilson, dubbed the "soft-spoken bandit" by the FBI for a string of bank robberies, walked into the Barrel House bar a little over two hours after the Sunday night escape with another man, believed to be fellow escapee Kevin Greene.

Wilson, who reportedly went to the bar to see a woman who worked there, got into a fight with a man he knew at the lounge, police said.

All four left the bar together to go to the man's boat, where the fight continued. The boat's owner later told police that he was then kidnaped and ordered to drive the escapees around in his pickup until it ran out of gas.

"They left on foot, and that is the last that they have been seen," Booth said. Los Angeles police have now joined the search, seeking Wilson on suspicion of kidnaping and assault with a deadly weapon, Booth said.

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