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Inmate caught after escaping from Stroger Hospital

Alex Bell prisinmate who escaped Wednesday morning from Stroger Hospital was quickly caught back custody.

Alex Bell, a prison inmate who escaped Wednesday morning from Stroger Hospital was quickly caught and back in custody.

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Updated: June 20, 2012 9:18AM

An Illinois Department of Corrections inmate who escaped from Stroger Hospital Wednesday morning is back in custody.

The IDOC issued a warrant for the arrest of Alex Bell, had been staying in a Chicago halfway house and “is considered a low-level offender,” after he escaped from the hospital, a statement from IDOC said.

Bell, who had been staying at the Crossroads Adult Transition Center, “escaped custody early this morning after being escorted to Stroger Hospital,” the IDOC statement said.

He entered Stroger Hospital about 2 a.m. for an unspecified medical condition, Cook County Health and Hospital System spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said. There was a police officer keeping an eye on him -- it was not yet known if that officer was a Chicago Police officer or hospital police -- and when the officer went to use the restroom about 6 a.m., the inmate escaped, Kollias said.

Hospital police did a sweep of the entire hospital to find Bell but did not find him. “We are 100 percent sure he is not in the hospital,” Kollias said about 8 a.m.

IDOC apprehension units, with the assistance of US Marshals, were searching for Bell. Chicago police were also notified about 6 a.m. of the escape. An IDOC investigation was also underway.

By about 9 a.m. Bell had been located and was back in custody, IDOC spokeswoman Stacey Solano said.

It was unknown if Bell was shackled, Kollias said.

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