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Sex offender escapes Oregon prison days before release date

By Shelby Sebens

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - An Oregon sex offender who was just days from being released escaped a Portland prison but was quickly captured at a local fast food restaurant, and was due to be arraigned on additional charges on Thursday, police said.

Matthew Joseph Medlin, 30, climbed a fence and escaped from the Columbia River Correctional Institution on Wednesday afternoon, just days before his scheduled May 6 release date, Portland police said.

Portland police captured Medlin, who was serving time for burglary, sex abuse and assault, late on Wednesday evening at a Portland Jack in the Box restaurant after a corrections officer transporting another inmate spotted him nearby.

Medlin resisted officers at first but complied after several police and a canine unit showed up. He is being held at the Multnomah County Jail and faces charges of escaping from the department of corrections, Lieutenant Steve Alexander of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said.

A representative from the Oregon Department of Corrections, which runs the prison from where Medlin escaped, could not be reached for comment. Police have not given any indication as to why he escaped.

Medlin was treated for injuries likely caused by climbing the prison fence, according to Portland police reports.

The prison from which he escaped is a 595-bed minimum security facility that opened in 1990 and houses male inmates in separate dormitory-style housing units, according to the Department of Corrections website.

(Editing by Andrew Hay)

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