By Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2021

COOLIDGE, Ariz. (AP) - A Coolidge man says his wife suffered scrapes and bruises when attacked at her home by two prison escapees before he rushed up to fight the men who then ran off but were soon caught by police in a nearby field.

John B. Charpiot and David T. Harmon were recaptured five days after they escaped Saturday from the Arizona State Prison Complex at Florence after using prison tools to breach a fence.

Luis Alvarez said he was working in a nearby farm field Thursday morning when one of the escapees entered the home and demanded cash and truck keys. He said his wife broke free and bolted outside but was stopped by the second escapee who was dragging her back into the house.



“She screamed at me. They grabbed her and started dragging her all the way in,” Alvarez told KPNX-TV.

Alvarez said he was running toward his home when he noticed the men’s orange pants and realized they were the escaped inmates.

”When I got to the door, I tried opening it, but it was blocked, that’s when a man stuck his hand out shouting for the truck keys. When he stuck his hand out the door, I pulled it, dragging him outside, and we started fighting,” Alvarez told azfamily.com.

The men ran off and Alvarez yelled for help when a passerby drove by the home.

The passerby, Joseph Marquez, had called 911 after seeing the men in an alfalfa field and initially thinking they were gas-company workers before he realized they were the wanted men.

“I’m wondering, what are Southwest Gas employees doing out here?” Marquez told the Casa Grande Dispatch. “I didn’t see a truck. I looked a little closer and noticed they were escaped convicts.”

Marquez said he stayed on the 911 line as he followed the escapees until police arrived.

Alvarez said his wife was back at home after being treated at an emergency room.

“I’m very thankful that they were caught so that they can’t harm anyone anymore,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez believes the inmates had been staying in a small, abandoned home up the road from his house.

The state Department of Public Safety said Harmon and Charpiot would face a long list of charges in connection with the escapee.

While Harmon and Charpiot were still at large, the DPS said the two allegedly tried to rob a Florence business Saturday night before running away when a clerk screamed for help.

Harmon was imprisoned in 2012 after he was sentenced to 100 years for kidnapping and second-degree burglary in Maricopa County.

Charpiot was sent to prison in 2011 for 35 years after he was convicted of molestation of a child and sexual abuse in Maricopa County.

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