Inmates on the run after pulling off courthouse escape in Palo Alto

Tramel McClough and John Bivins

A pair of inmates managed to break free from restraints and successfully flee a Palo Alto courthouse Monday in an escape authorities are describing as “well-orchestrated and brazen.”

About 9:30 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy was escorting the inmates through a public hall adjacent to an elevator when they ran toward an emergency exit and went outside where a getaway vehicle was waiting. They fled the scene in the vehicle, leaving behind discarded restraints and a handcuff key, which investigators seized, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies and Palo Alto police officers immediately flooded the area in an attempt to capture the inmates but did not succeed. Officials have identified the fugitives as Tramel McClough, 46, and John Bivins, 47.

Both McClough and Bivins were booked in Santa Clara County Jail on Feb. 3 on charges including robbery and false imprisonment. The sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies are conducting a large-scale 24/7 search for them.