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Angeles County | Community News File / Sylmar

Teenage Murder Suspect Recaptured at McDonald's

April 18, 1998

A murder suspect who escaped from Sylmar Juvenile Hall late Thursday night was recaptured about seven hours later as he stood in line at a nearby McDonald's, authorities said.

The escapee was not hard to spot--he was still wearing county-issued orange pants and a shirt that had the letters "Juvenile Hall" prominently displayed across his chest.

The 16-year-old suspect, from North Hollywood, had been arrested Tuesday in connection with a drive-by shooting last month that killed 18-year-old Omar Mendez, said Det. Mike Coffey of the Los Angeles Police Department. Prosecutors say they will seek to try the boy as an adult.

The teenager broke out of the facility's infirmary, where he had been awaiting treatment for tonsillitis, said Craig Levy, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

"He kicked out the window and climbed on top of one of the buildings," Levy said, then used a blanket from the infirmary to scale a 15-foot-high wall topped with razor wire.

The escape prompted authorities to order a round of security inspections of the Sylmar facility, at 16350 Filbert St.

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