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‘Dangerous’ felon caught after leaving Orange County halfway house

After a week-long manhunt, a dangerous convicted felon who escaped from a halfway house in Orange County was captured in Mexico.

The man was identified as Ike Souzer, 20. according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

At the time of his escape, authorities said Souzer was considered “extremely dangerous and violent” and should not be approached.

On March 20, Souzer was released from custody after pleading guilty to vandalism. He was sentenced to 90 days in county jail and then placed on probation for two years.

That day, he checked into a halfway house called Project Kinship in Santa Ana, but left the site and never returned. He did not tell his probation officer where he might be headed.

On March 27, Souzer was in Rosarito, Mexico, where he was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and Mexican officials.

When he was initially released to the halfway house on vandalism charges, prosecutors had “strongly objected to serving 90 days” because of Souzer’s criminal history.

  • Ike Souzer, 20, in an Orange County District Attorney's Office booking photo.
  • Ike Souzer in an undated Orange County Sheriff's Department photo.
  • Escaped fugitive Ike Souzer was recaptured on April 17, 2022.  (Orange County District Attorney's Office)
  • Man who killed his mother aged 13 remanded in custody for making weapons

According to prosecutors, at age 13, Souzer stabbed his mother, assaulted three correctional officers and manufactured a stroke while incarcerated in the Orange County Jail.

In 2021, OK Superior Court Judge Gary Pohlson reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor and gave Souzer 160 days in prison for assaulting three correctional officers while he was incarcerated.

In October 2023, prosecutors objected to a three-year split sentence after Souzer was convicted of making and possessing shards while in prison.

Instead of the three-year sentence prosecutors had requested, Souzer was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of supervised release. He was released from prison three months later, in January 2024, with 50 percent credit/working time credit.

Just days after his release, Souzer was arrested by the Orange Police Department for spray-painting graffiti on an underpass under Highway 55 and giving officers a false name.

Souzer had previously left Project Kinship in April 2022 after being released from prison under electronic monitoring.

After a nationwide manhunt during this incident, he was eventually located and arrested at a homeless camp in Anaheim.

“My prosecutors have tried for years to do everything in their power to keep this violent offender behind bars, and the judges elected to protect public safety have done little at every turn to do so, and instead gave him a break. “Break after break,” said OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “This is not someone who deserves a break; He has turned every opportunity to turn a new leaf into a new opportunity to break the law and defy law enforcement. He didn’t just walk away and forget to check in with his probation officer. As soon as he was released from prison, he made a plan to flee to a foreign country – another attempt to escape the consequences of his actions.

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