Teen helps authorities capture escaped inmate

COOLIDGE, AZ - A teenager says he helped authorities track down an escaped inmate after the suspect asked him for a ride to see his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.

Drake Gall says he and his friends were approached by 40-year-old Joseph Dekenipp at a McDonald’s in Coolidge. They recognized him from the mug shot that had been circulating after the alert went out about the missing inmate.

"He was real shifty and talking a lot,” said Gall. “Real nervous and looking around a lot, and he was really favoring his right foot whenever he broke it when he jumped the wall."

According to Gall, the suspect offered the teens money and cell phones in exchange for the ride. One friend ended up driving Dekenipp a couple of miles away to a local bar, while the rest followed in another car and called 911.

The bar owner at the Gallopin’ Goose says Dekenipp was only inside the bar for a couple of minutes before authorities showed up and took him into custody.

"When police came he pretty much threw his hands up and said, 'You got me,'" said bar owner Scott Wohrman.

Dekenipp was only being held on a $5,000 bond, but he’s now facing extra time behind bars for his escape.

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