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Florida woman opens car door and finds escaped prisoner

When a Lady Lake woman left her home on May 24, she found a man hiding in her car, which was parked in her driveway. It turned out that the man, 32-year-old Jesse James Hall, had escaped from an Orlando detention center two days earlier.

The woman heard her car alarm go off several times and went outside to investigate, a police report said. When she opened the car door, Hall grabbed her right arm, but she was able to break free, ran back into her house and called 911. The woman also armed herself with a gun.

Hall was standing in the woman's driveway when Lake County police officers arrived. The suspect “then took off,” according to the police report, and officers gave chase. Hall ran a short distance, then turned around and surrendered.

Hall was charged with burglary, assault, resisting arrest without violence and presenting a false identification.

Hall initially told officers his name was Jesse Hillman, but officers were able to identify him using his fingerprints.

After confirming Hall's identity, police learned he was serving a seven-year sentence in state prison for two counts of auto theft, two counts of possession of methamphetamine and two counts of selling methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a church. The original sentence against him was handed down in March 2019.

Details of Hall's escape from the Orlando prison were not immediately available.

He was held without bail on a Florida Department of Corrections warrant for his arrest for escape and remains in the Lake County Jail.