ORANGE CITY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Michael Caruso was handcuffed and in a wheelchair when he went before a judge today, less than 24 hours after he broke out of a police department.
Police say Caruso, 31, escaped through a hole he tore open in the restroom ceiling at the Orange City Police Department. According to his arrest report, the suspect was escorted from a holding cell to a restroom, because he told officers he badly needed a bathroom break.
But the escorting officer didn't go inside the stall because there was only one toilet. Several minutes later, police busted in the door when they didn't get a response, but Caruso was gone. Police say he tore out a hole in the drywall ceiling where an exhaust fan was located, and crawled up into the attic, and then dropped down outside the building.
"It was crazy, there were like ten police cars here."
Dorothy Mohr saw Caruso running through her neighborhood and called police. They say they the suspect ran about a mile from the police department and then into a random homeowner's garage where he asked for a ride. But police say the homeowner was an officer in training, who instead of getting his keys, came back out with a gun. The suspect ran, but didn't get far.
"I walked out my front door and and all the policemen were there over there in those bushes.
This witness says the hedge in her neighbor's front yard couldn't hide the suspect from a police K9, who tracked him down, and bit him.
"They arrested him right there and took him away" said Mohr.
Caruso is facing a dozen charges now, including grand theft and escape from prison. He's being held without bond.