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May 17, 2023

Manhunt ends with arrest of second escaped Philly inmate Ameen Hurst

Nasir Grant, captured last week, and four others have been charged in connection with the May 7 jailbreak at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center

Investigations Prisons
Ameen Hurst Arrested Prison Break Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Ameen Hurst, 18, was arrested Wednesday morning after escaping from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center on May 7.

Ameen Hurst, the second of two prisoners who escaped from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center earlier this month, was arrested in West Philly early Wednesday morning, police said. His arrest ends a 10-day manhunt after Hurst and inmate Nasir Grant broke out of the Holmesburg jail on May 7.

Hurst, 18, was taken into custody around 8:30 a.m. along the 6100 block of Washington Avenue, authorities said. He had been in prison on charges connected to four homicides that occurred in the city over the last three years.

Grant, 24, was captured Thursday in North Philadelphia. He had been in jail on gun and drug charges prior to his escape.

U.S. Marshals, who made contact with Hurst's family, had negotiated his surrender for Tuesday evening, Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Clark said. When three deadlines passed, investigators chose to track Hurst down themselves. He was spotted leaving a home and entering a car with his mother and brother on Wednesday morning and was arrested without incident, police said.

Hurst's brother, who has not been identified, is expected to face charges in connection with his escape, officials said. On Wednesday afternoon, police announced the arrest of 24-year-old Amir Woods for his alleged role in the jailbreak. Woods is charged with criminal conspiracy, hindering apprehension, escape and realted offenses. Authorities did not immediately say whether Woods is Hurst's brother.  

Hurst and Grant left the prison on a Sunday night, exiting through a hole cut into a chain link fence at the perimeter of the complex on State Road. Their absence went undetected until the following afternoon, despite three earlier head counts being conducted in the hours after they broke free.

Three other people have been charged so far in connection with the jailbreak.

Xianni Stalling, 21, was arrested for allegedly communicating with one of the inmates prior to the jailbreak and helping to arrange transportation, police said. She is charged with conspiracy and hindering apprehension.

Ameen Hurst MugshotSource/PPD

Ameen Hurst

Another prison inmate, Jose Alberto Flores-Huerta, 35, also was charged for his alleged role as a lookout who helped Hurst and Grant escape the jail. Flores-Huerta is in prison on homicide charges stemming from the fatal beating of a New York man outside of Pat's King of Steaks in South Philly in September 2021. He has since been charged with conspiracy and escape.

And on Monday, U.S. Marshals arrested 21-year-old Michael Abrams for his alleged role in providing transportation to Hurst after the escape. Abrams is charged with criminal conspiracy, hindering apprehension, escape and related offenses.

"For all four arrests, we're proud to announce not one iota of force was needed," Clark said. 

While Hurst remained missing, authorities warned that he was dangerous and offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Hurst is accused of carrying out a quadruple shooting in West Philly in March 2021, which killed two people. Days later, he allegedly killed a man who had just been released from prison. He also allegedly committed a homicide on Christmas Eve in 2020. 

The 10-day manhunt brought in hundreds of tips, with the search expanding into Delaware and New York.

The prison break has intensified the conflict between the leadership of the city's prisons department and members of AFSCME Local 159, the union representing Philadelphia correctional officers.

The union contends that staffing shortages contributed to the inmates' escape. Prior to that, the union had unanimously voted "no confidence" in Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney.

Carney said the prison's staffing at the time of Hurst's and Grant's escape is part of an ongoing internal investigation of failures that may have enabled the prison break. Philadelphia police and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections also are investigating the escape.