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Honor Farm inmates that walked away are now back in custody
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Two inmates from the San Joaquin County Jail that walked away from the Honor Farm at some point on Sunday – including one that sparked a pursuit that resulted in extensive injuries to a Manteca police officer – are now back in custody.

David Anthony Andavaso, 38, and Jeremy Brian Croft, 27, were both missing at the 6 p.m. nightly count at the minimum-security honor farm at the San Joaquin County Jail complex off Matthews Road in French Camp on Sunday evening.

The discovery sparked a lockdown of the facility and a search with the use of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office helicopter ensued, but neither men were located on or around the facility.

Andavaso, who was being held on $500,000 bail, was in custody on charges that included possession of a stolen vehicle, evading a police officer into oncoming traffic, resisting a police officer resulting in death or serious bodily injury, and evading a police officer with wanton disregard for safety.

During that pursuit in which Andavaso drove into oncoming traffic, the Manteca officer that was chasing him attempted to catch him on foot and jumped over a guardrail and fell down onto rocks below – resulting in extensive facial injuries that required hospitalization. The incident occurred just after Mike Harden, Manteca’s new police chief, began his tenure with the department – prompting him to visit the hospital before actually stepping foot into the facility which he now commands.

Andavaso had been in custody at the jail since Aug. 18.

Croft was wanted on charges of exhibiting a deadly weapon other than a firearm and had been in custody on a $25,000 bond since Aug. 19.

Both men were captured on Highway 4 near Army Court just north of Weston Ranch across French Camp Slough. Both men were on foot when they were apprehended.

According to the sheriff’s office, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely cut back on the number of inmates that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are accepting from county jails once they have been sentenced to state prison. As a result, the agency has been forced to house inmates at the minimum-security facility that would not otherwise be eligible for such housing arrangements – especially with the minimum-security measures that are in place.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.