RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — An inmate that escaped from WakeMed is back in custody early Wednesday morning, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.

Late Tuesday night, the sheriff’s office said Zaire Mclean escaped from WakeMed’s Raleigh Campus on New Bern Avenue. The sheriff’s office said the reason for Mclean’s hospital stay could not be disclosed due to privacy reasons.

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He was initially charged with larceny of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

At 12:15 a.m., the sheriff’s office said Mclean was taken back into custody with the assistance of the Raleigh police department and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

According to arrest warrants, Mclean “unlawfully and willfully did wantonly injure personal property” of an inmate jumpsuit, which is the property of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. Warrants said the damage caused was $200.00 or less.

Zaire was charged with escaping a local jail and injury to personal property. He appeared in court on Tuesday.

Mclean appeared in court via an electronic link from the Wake County lockup on charges of escape and destroying his prison jumpsuit on Wednesday. 

He had ditched the jumpsuit after running from the hospital. 

On Tuesday night, the 23-year-old inmate was at WakeMed hospital’s emergency room when he somehow managed to escape the building in handcuffs while under guard by just one deputy.

CBS 17 asked Sheriff Willie Rowe if he would consider using two deputies to escort a prisoner to the hospital in the future. 

“That’s part of our practice,” said Rowe. “We had a deputy en route to help with him and it happened prior to the officer making it to the hospital.”



Rowe said they’re now reviewing what happened and looking to see if procedures need to be changed to prevent a recurrence of an event like that.

He said they’re also reviewing the actions of the deputy who was with the suspect when he fled.

A spokesperson with the sheriff’s office said Mclean’s charge of escape from a local jail was upgraded to a felony Wednesday evening.