Homeless Man Spots Fugitives, Gets $100K Reward

He recognized stolen van of Calif. escapees
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2016 1:23 AM CDT
Homeless Man Spots Fugitives, Gets $100K Reward
Matthew Hay-Chapman returns to a McDonald's in San Francisco to describe how he spotted two of the Orange County jail escapees.   (Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

A homeless San Francisco man who calls himself a "news junkie" might be able to get off the streets because of his news habit: He will receive the lion's share of a $150,000 reward for helping recapture two escaped inmates in January, the Los Angeles Times reports. Matthew Hay-Chapman recognized the inmates' stolen van in a Whole Foods parking lot on Jan. 28 and spotted fugitive Hossein Nayeri emerging from the vehicle. He says he found a police officer and led him to the van, leading to the capture of Nayeri and fellow escapee Jonathan Tieu. A third man had surrendered a day earlier.

Hay-Chapman, 55, was living in Golden Gate Park at the time of the arrests but says he still kept track of the news every day by going online or reading newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Orange County Board of Supervisors decided to award him $100,000 of the $150,000 cash reward for the inmates' recapture, with $20,000 going to the owner of the stolen van, and two employees who spotted the escapees acting suspiciously at a Target store receiving $15,000 each. A cab driver kidnapped and almost murdered by the escapees, however, won't get a share of the reward money because the supervisors decided that he had not provided information that led to the men's recapture. (More San Francisco stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.