Michael Ventura's brown prison pants and boxer shorts were caught on a 10-foot-high razor fence after he escaped yesterday morning from Oahu Community Correctional Center.

Inmate escapes
without pants

Michael Ventura was serving
a 90-day term and now faces
five years for escaping

A 25-year-old man who ran nearly naked from prison yesterday now faces five Christmases behind bars instead of just one.


Michael Ventura: The escapee has brown hair and "Donna" tattooed on his left shoulder

Michael Ventura left his boxer shorts and brown prison pants hanging from a sharp razor-wire fence, and his rubber slippers below, after escaping from the Oahu Community Correctional Center shortly after 8 a.m. yesterday.

Ventura, who might be injured after cutting himself on the 10-foot fence, had a little more than a month left of a 90-day sentence for third-degree assault.

Now he faces charges of third-degree escape, a felony that carries a five-year sentence.

Ventura, who had been detained for about a week, had only a white T-shirt on when he made a run for it.

"Somebody called and said he was running with a bag on his head," said Michael Gaede, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

Officials were also told that Ventura wrapped a piece of cardboard around his waist.

Public safety officials found other pieces of cardboard and plastic bags with blood spots near the corrections center.

"He was definitely cut below the waist," said Gaede, noting that it is unusual for an inmate serving a short sentence to escape. "It's got us baffled. You don't see that very much."

On Dec. 14, Ventura was sentenced to 90 days in prison in a Family Court case for third-degree assault that occurred in January 2003.

He has previous petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor convictions for harassment and interference in reporting an emergency or crime.

He was being held in minimum-custody quarters at OCCC and scheduled to be released Jan. 26, after his sentence was shortened.

"He's only been in a week," Gaede said.

A police helicopter, deputy sheriffs and members of the SWAT team equipped with dogs canvassed parts of Kalihi for Ventura.

He is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 127 pounds, with a slim build. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Ventura also has the name Donna tattooed on his left shoulder.

Anyone with information on Ventura's whereabouts can call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

E-mail to City Desk


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