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Man on crutches escapes from police custody

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

The 49-year-old ex-convict was on crutches.

But that didn’t keep James Roesch from escaping from custody at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Roesch was being held behind a courtroom Tuesday, awaiting a bond hearing for a recent burglary arrest, when he bolted about 10 a.m., sheriff’s police spokeswoman Liane Jackson said.

At some point, Roesch “dumped” his crutches as he fled, Jackson said.

He didn’t get far. Officers caught him as he made his way outside into the damp April morning, witnesses said. He was brought back in — with plenty of time to spare before his bond hearing.

Well after Roesch’s alleged dash, the courthouse buzzed with colorful accounts of his thwarted escape.

During a nearly 20-year span, Roesch racked up several felony convictions, mostly for burglary, according to court records.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a 2004 burglary and is now on parole, court records said.

Roesch was arrested last week for another residential burglary, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Roesch was expected to be charged Wednesday for the attempted escape, Jackson said.

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