Two inmates who escaped from a federal Vancouver Island prison on Sunday were found and arrested in Esquimalt on Tuesday evening.
On July 7th at approximately 6:45 p.m., the two inmates, James Lee Bursch and Zachary Armitage, broke out of William Head Institution in Metchosin, prompting an island-wide manhunt.
The two men were convicted of violent offenses, with Bursch serving a sentence for second degree murder, aggravated assault, sexual assault, and more, and Armitage serving a sentence for aggravated assault, robbery, and other crimes.
Two days after escaping prison, on July 9th, the pair was located in the Esquimalt area.
At approximately 8:00 p.m., an off duty RCMP officer recognized the escapees when he was out for a walk with his dog, and alerted on-duty officers.
“The off duty officer was walking his dog, a Great Dane named Lewis, in the area of West Bay in Esquimalt when the escaped inmates commented on how big ‘Lewis’ was,” said Cst. Nancy Saggar of the West Shore RCMP in a release.
“That’s when the RCMP officer immediately recognized the males as Armitage and Busch. The RCMP officer called 911 right way and kept an eye on the inmates. Victoria Police responded with a heavy police presence and safely took the inmates into custody.”
“We want to say thank you to the public and the media for their help, and of course a big thank you to the Victoria Police Department and the RCMP officer who acted quickly after spotting the escapees.”