By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An inmate who escaped from the Hennepin County Jail is back in custody after being on the run for three hours.

Michael Simon, 57, was in jail facing credit card fraud charges, but he may soon face more serious charges for his escape.

“We have a lot of work to do just on reviewing this incident and piecing it all together,“ said Major Tracey Martin.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office says they can’t go into detail about the escape of Simon, but sources tell us he was on a work detail when he broke a window on the 7th floor of the jail to make his escape.

“There was some initial information that we were able to gather from the downtown cameras,” Martin said.

Downtown Minneapolis has an state of the art camera system, and law enforcement used those cameras and tips from sources to figure out where Simon was going.

“Through our violent offender task force and our investigative unit they were working some leads that they had they had an area of interest and they sent the U.S. Marshals to that area of interest, “Martin said.

Tips were sent to the U.S. Marshals 12 miles from downtown Minneapolis to the city of Little Canada.

A targeted traffic stop led to Simon’s arrest.

“At no point during the three-hour search did authorities believe there to be a public safety threat in Hennepin County or anywhere else due to Simon’s non-violent criminal history,“ Martin said.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s office is now involved in two investigations: one criminal to determine if Simon should face any charges, and the other an internal investigation to determine what went wrong.

The Hennepin County Adult Detention Center was opened in 2001.

This is the first escape at the building.

Reg Chapman

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