Prison inmate escapes in fire truck, stops to rescue cat from tree

HEINUS – SAN DIEGO  An inmate at a California state prison in San Diego escaped from the prison in a stolen fire truck. The inmate, Thomas Kelley, who has worked as a firefighter, stole a fire truck and drove off prison grounds at high speed. He later assisted a homeowner in rescuing a cat from a tree.

While driving through a residential community near San Diego, Kelley was waved down by homeowner Sharon Zeigelweiss who begged Kelley to rescue her cat from a nearby tree. Kelley reportedly agreed to retrieve the cat and quickly climbed the 60-foot pine. The cat in the tree was a 76-pound cougar that severely mauled the ex-firefighter. Zeigelweiss said the large feline was a beloved family pet named Ziggy and it needed saving. Police arrived to take Kelley to a prison hospital. Zeigelweiss promised to visit Kelley after he recovered from his wounds and bring him videos of Ziggy doing tricks.

(fire truck image by EPO, Matthew Field, cougar image by Mike Searson)