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Geiger escapee fled twice from cops in May

SUNDAY, JAN. 27, 2013, 10:07 P.M.

An inmate facing assault, eluding police and other charges escaped from the Geiger Corrections Center on Sunday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Michael S. Wheeler, 38, was last seen in the kitchen area where he was an inmate worker, between 5:35 p.m. and 5:55 p.m., the office said.

Deputies were unable to find Wheeler in a search after setting a perimeter around the West Plains facility, which has a long history of escapes. Wheeler was in custody on a $50,000 bond and faced charges for assault of a health service provider, attempting to elude a police vehicle, vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, theft, residential burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm.

He is white, 5-foot-8, 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a tan or blue jumpsuit.

Sheriff’s officials ask that anyone with information on Wheeler’s whereabouts to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Wheeler was arrested May 3 after a high-speed chase with a state wildlife officer in a stolen car while allegedly high on methamphetamine, according to court documents. He was released from jail when prosecutors didn’t file charges within three days.

He was arrested again later in May after another chase. Wheeler was taken to a hospital after he told a sheriff’s deputy he had eaten an unknown amount of cocaine when he was arrested near Argonne and Bruce roads, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Wheeler also faces the third-degree assault charge for allegedly striking a security guard at Holy Family Hospital while running from sheriff’s deputies. According to court records, Wheeler ran from officers after saying, “Have you ever been to jail? It sucks.”

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