Man accused in serial rapes that terrorized Miami neighborhood escapes jail

The Associated Press

Accused serial rapist, Reynaldo Elias Rapalo.

An inmate accused in a series of rapes that terrorized the Little Havana neighborhood escaped from jail, police said Wednesday.

Reynaldo E. Rapalo, 34, ran away from Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center late Tuesday after climbing down from the roof using bed sheets tied together, police said.

Another man was caught after he broke a leg while jumping.

Rapalo is accused of raping seven victims, ages 11 to 79, in 2002 and 2003 and attempting to attack four others. Authorities say DNA evidence links him to the attacks. He was arrested in September 2003 after a massive manhunt.

If convicted, Rapalo faces up to life in prison.

Rapalo was considered armed and dangerous, although there was no specific information on what weapon he had, police spokeswoman Amy Salas-Jacobson said. She had no other information and a a Miami-Dade County jail spokeswoman didn't return a phone message.

Rapalo's attorney, Herbert Smith, didn't immediately return a phone message.

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