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Fairbanks halfway house inmate escapes, returns with SUV to pick up friends, escapes again

  • Author: Michelle Theriault Boots
  • Updated: May 23, 2016
  • Published May 23, 2016

An inmate escaped a Fairbanks halfway house on a bicycle early Sunday morning and returned with an SUV to pick up other prisoners before disappearing again, according to a report from Alaska State Troopers. He's still on the loose.

Fairbanks' Northstar Center contacted troopers at 1:05 a.m. on Sunday to report that Joshua Yaska, 20, of Fairbanks, had been seen pedaling away from the facility on a bicycle, troopers said in an online release Sunday.

People serving time in Department of Corrections' halfway houses can't be physically prevented from leaving by staff but face escape charges if they walk away.

About three hours later, Yaska returned to the Northstar Center in a silver Isuzu SUV to "attempt to aid" other inmates in escaping, troopers said; he allegedly tried to hit a halfway house employee with the SUV and escaped again. 

"At this time, Yaska's whereabouts are unknown," the dispatch said. He was last seen wearing a gray sweatsuit.

Yaska could face charges of fourth-degree escape and third-degree assault in connection with the incident.

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