By Michael Ruff, Special Agent in Charge | Office of Correctional Safety, Special Service Unit

An inmate who escaped from state custody nearly 24 years ago was arrested last month by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agents from the Special Service Unit.

Antonio Asencio was sentenced in April 1988 from Los Angeles County on a second-degree robbery conviction.  The following February, he was assigned to Mount Gleason Conservation Camp.  Nearly a year into a five-year sentence, Asencio walked away from a work crew at the UC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Fast-forward nearly 24 years. Special Agent Brian Docherty developed new leads in the cold case and his investigation resulted in the March 8, 2012, arrest of Asencio in Watts.

According to California Department of Justice records, Asencio had been arrested several times in the intervening 24 years on various charges, including driving under the influence and robbery, but had eluded detection by using the alias Oscar Anibal Hernandez.

Special agents escorted Asencio to California Institution for Men, where he will serve the remainder of his original sentence. He also faces new charges, including escape.

“We commend our agents for their diligent work in apprehending this escapee,” said Anthony Chaus, Chief of CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety. “This arrest is a message to all felons still at large. We never give up when searching for fugitives.”

CDCR has apprehended 98.7 percent of all escapees.