- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

LA JUNTA, Colo. (AP) - Authorities recaptured three inmates who escaped from the Otero County Jail by overpowering guards and dashing to freedom in a rail yard, but a fourth remained on the run Wednesday night.

Undersheriff Ken Kimsey identified the man still at large as Angel Castrejon, 23, who was facing drug charges and had previously escaped from the same jail.

The Colorado National Guard and dozens of law enforcement officers launched a search across the southeastern part of the state after the escape Tuesday night.

A deputy who answered the phone at the sheriff’s office said Castrejon hadn’t been found by about 9 p.m. Wednesday. The deputy declined to give his name.

Those back in custody were identified as Curtis Apodaca, 21, suspected of motor vehicle theft; Malcolm Hoffert, 22, suspected of motor vehicle theft; and Johnny Nunez, 30, suspected of burglary and forgery.

All four inmates had been awaiting court appearances.

Kimsey said that because the hunt for Castrejon was continuing, he could say little about the recapture of the others. He said they were found in the La Junta area and that no one was injured in the recapture.

The Otero County Sheriff’s Office said two of the men rushed an officer at the 34-bed jail Tuesday night and then let the two others out of another cell. The four then overpowered another officer and headed across U.S. Highway 50 into a rail yard. The deputies suffered minor injuries.

The jail, in a one-story sheriff’s office building, is just blocks from La Junta’s rail yard, which includes an Amtrak station.

La Junta schools were placed on modified lockdown.

During his previous escape in 2013, Castrejon was being taken out of his cell to be checked on a medical issue and was able to flee through a garage door, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested four months later in El Paso, Texas.

A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter with a crew of four was sent from the Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force base in Aurora to help in the search during the day, then later returned to base.

Others assisting included the La Junta and Rocky Ford police departments, the Colorado Department of Corrections, Colorado State Patrol and the Bent County Sheriff’s Office.

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