OAKLAND -- A massive four-hour search was called off Friday afternoon for an ex-convict who was able to free himself from shackles and escape a deputy sheriff at Highland Hospital, authorities said.
Anthony Hoskins, 31, of Oakland, who was already facing trial on several counts of armed robbery and other charges, escaped about 10 a.m. Friday after being brought to the hospital for what was called a routine appointment.
A lone deputy driving his patrol car was taking Hoskins to the hospital at 1411 E. 31st St. in Oakland.
Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said that during the ride to the hospital from Santa Rita Jail, Hoskins was apparently able to "manipulate" his leg, waist and hand restraints and bolt from the car when it arrived at the hospital.
He eluded the deputy, ran across 14th Avenue and discarded his jail garb behind a house in the 1900 block of East 30th Street.
Dozens of deputies and Oakland police officers swarmed into to the area to search for Hoskins, described by one investigator as a "very bad dude."
Both East 31st Street and East 30th Street east of the hospital were blocked off during the four hours authorities searched for Hoskins.
Hoskins reportedly has relatives and friends in the area, some several blocks away, authorities said. Those sites were searched, but he was not found. A California Highway Patrol helicopter assisted ground units in the search.
The physical search was called off about 2 p.m., but authorities said they would pursue any leads that came in.
Hoskins, who is on parole for kidnapping, was arrested in March by Oakland police and charged with more than a dozen robberies in Oakland and Fremont. The Oakland cases were street robberies and the Fremont robbery was of a business.
He was being held on $1 million bail before his escape.
Anyone with information on Hoskins' whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Alameda County Sheriff's Department at 510-667-2121.
Contact Harry Harris at email@example.com.