SC inmate who escaped a work crew in 1979 captured
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — An inmate who escaped from a work crew in South Carolina’s Anderson County in 1979 has been captured.
Jose Chico Romero, now 63, had an encounter with police in Dover, Delaware on Dec. 28 in which he presented a fake identification card, according to Chrysti Shain, director of communications for the South Carolina Department of Corrections. She said he was arrested, processed and released under the name Arnaldo Figueroa, but his fingerprints later came back with a match for Romero. He was apprehended in Dover on New Year’s Day, WYFF-TV reported.
Romero was serving an 18-year sentence for armed robbery from Aiken County when he escaped on Dec. 13, 1979, Shain said.
At the time of his escape, Shain said Romero was assigned to a work crew in Anderson County and was being housed at the former Anderson County Stockade. The building was being used to house short-term local inmates and SCDC inmates assigned to work in the county as part of the designated facilities program.
Romero is being held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Delaware, on a fugitive warrant and has waived extradition. He also is charged with public intoxication, loitering, third-degree criminal trespassing, second-degree forgery (four counts), criminal impersonation and being an out-of-state fugitive, according to Shain.
Once returned to South Carolina, Romero will be required to serve the remainder of his original sentence, which is about seven years, plus any additional time added for an escape conviction.