Police arrested active Saddleback professor and Lake Forest resident Nooshafarian Ravaghi on Thursday, Jan. 28, for her role in the three-man escape from Orange County’s central jail in Santa Ana. Ravaghi was an English as a second language teacher at Rancho Santiago Community College who also taught inmates at the jail. She is believed to have provided maps, and possibly tools, to the escapees.
Since police arrested Ravaghi all three men have been taken back into custody. Bac Duong surrendered himself to authorities in Santa Ana on Friday, Jan. 29, one week after the escape. Duong contacted an acquaintance working at Auto Electric Rebuilders on North Harbor Boulevard.
Nayeri and Tieu were arrested in San Francisco around 9 a.m. the next day. The arrest happened near Haight and Stanyan. The men were arrested without resistance, Los Angeles Times said.
Community college professor Nooshafarin Ravaghi may have provided planning tools to Nayeri. (Facebook)
Jonathan Tieu, 20, Hossein Nayeri, 37, and Bac Duong, 43, were housed in a 65 man tank at the maximum security county jail. Investigations have determined the individuals cut through steel, made their way through the facilities plumbing pipes, past three security checkpoints and displaced razor wire to gain access to the roof. A makeshift rope made from knotted bed sheets was used to rappel four stories.
“If they rappelled off the roof and cut through plumbing they had help,” said Sean Schwietert, engineering major. “That wasn’t something they just got in prison. They had help from the outside.”
Nayeri attended the classes, said Lt. Jeffrey Hallock, spokesperson for Orange County Sheriff’s Department. According to the Los Angeles Times, Nayeri had developed a friendship with Ravaghi. The teacher has been cooperating with authorities about her involvement.
The ESL teacher will be charged as an accessory to the escape. She is accused of providing Nayeri with a Google Maps printout of the facility’s roof.
Nayeri, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested 2013 for his part in a plot to kidnap wealthy Newport Beach marijuana dispensary owner. Court records show Nayeri and accomplices allegedly burned the man with a blowtorch, severed his penis and left him to die in Mojave Desert. Tieu was charged with a gang-related murder and Duong with attempted murder.
“I feel very scared for my own safety and I also have younger siblings in school,” Mayra Salinas said, nursing major. “According to people they are under security and they have cameras but then they did this.”
Orange County Grand Jury requested the Sherriff’s Department upgrade their outdated video surveillance systems throughout the jails. The request was made on six separate occasions. The $11 million process began last year.
Public court documents state the escape was not detected until 17 hours after the men had vanished.
“It’s kind of sketchy they were able to do that while in jail,” Julia Cheng said, psychology major. “That doesn’t say anything good about our prison system if they can get out.”
Since the escape police have been exhausting all leads. Including Ravaghi, about 10 people have been arrested for their alleged role in the escape. More than 30 warrants have been served to search residences and phones.
Police believed the men have been living out of a 2008 white GMC Savana Utility Vehicle. A man matching Duong’s description test-drove the van on Saturday in south Los Angeles and never returned, according to an OCSD news release.