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4 of 5 inmates are captured after escape from California jail

Four of five inmates who escaped from a jail in central California and were considered “armed and dangerous” were captured Saturday, the authorities said.

The inmates escaped from the Madera County Jail around 9:15 p.m. Friday, the county Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on its Facebook page.

But around 10 p.m. Saturday, Pacific time, Erica Stuart, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, announced that four of the inmates had been captured. Roel Soliz, 29, who was convicted of burglary and parole and probation violations, was still at large, she said in an email.

The men had fled on foot, wearing their bright orange jail jumpsuits, Stuart said Saturday night. She told The Associated Press that officers from the county Department of Corrections, which operates the jail, noticed that the inmates were missing about an hour after they escaped.

The Sheriff’s Department identified the captured inmates as Ricardo Cendejas, 19; Juan Lopez, 30; Jorge Lopez-Diaz, 26; Abel Ramos, 25.

The five men were being held on a total of 23 charges, including attempted murder, armed robbery and promoting or assisting felony gang activity, the statement said.

“All five men should be considered armed and dangerous,” the Sheriff’s Department said on Facebook earlier Saturday.

—Ashley Southall, The New York Times

Black bear kills man, 22, during hike in North Jersey

A Rutgers University student was killed by a black bear over the weekend, the police said Monday, the first such recorded death in New Jersey since the 1850s.

The student, Darsh Patel, 22, and four friends were hiking on Sunday in the Apshawa Preserve in the northern part of the state, about 40 miles from New York City. They encountered a black bear, which began to follow them, according to the police in West Milford, a township that includes the preserve.

The friends told the police they scrambled to get away from the bear, all running in different directions. Four of the men later found one another, and they called the police to help search for their missing friend, according to the authorities. Patel’s body was found about two hours later.

“Evidence at the scene indicated that the victim had been attacked by a bear,” the West Milford Police Department said in a statement.

Investigators added that a 300-pound bear was found at the scene and was “immediately euthanized.”

Efforts to reach Patel’s family on Monday afternoon by phone were unsuccessful.

Patel was a senior at Rutgers from Edison, New Jersey, and was majoring in information technology and informatics. In a statement, Richard Edward, the university’s chancellor, said, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones and to all his friends and fellow students at Rutgers.”

No one has been killed by a bear in New Jersey since 1852, according to a 2010 report on black bears by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

However, Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the department, said that the black bear population had recently “grown out of control,” especially in far northern New Jersey. Black bears have caused some injuries to humans, including an attack in 2011 where two boys were hurt in northern Sussex County. There have been 146 dangerous encounters with black bears through Sept. 20 this year, the department found in a report.

The growing population prompted the state to institute a black bear hunting season in 2009, which has lowered the population to between 1,800 and 2,400 bears.

—Tatiana Schlossberg, The New York Times