Suspect charged in 2021 Pat's Steaks beating now accused of helping 2 inmates escape Philly prison

Sources tell Action News that 35-year-old Jose Flores-Huerta acted as a lookout.

Sunday, May 14, 2023
Pat's Steaks beating suspect accused of helping inmates escape prison
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A suspect charged in a deadly beating outside Pat's King of Steaks in 2021 is now accused of helping two prisoners escape from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A suspect charged in a deadly beating outside Pat's King of Steaks in 2021 is now accused of helping two prisoners escape from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center.

Sources tell Action News that 35-year-old Jose Flores-Huerta acted as a lookout.

Flores-Huerta, who is incarcerated at PICC, is now being charged with criminal conspiracy and escape. He was already behind bars accused of killing Isidro Cortes, 28, of Queens, New York in a fight at Pat's.

On Thursday night, U.S. Marshals arrested 24-year-old Nasir Grant, one of the two inmates who cut their way out of the prison last weekend.

Grant, who was being held on narcotics and gun violations, was captured near 28th and Dauphin streets in Strawberry Mansion after a four-day manhunt.

Police are still searching for 18-year-old Ameen Hurst, who is accused of killing four people.

Investigators were conducting a surveillance operation Thursday night in an area believed to be frequented by Grant. They said he was dressed as a woman as a disguise at the time of his arrest.

"At about 10:20 p.m., 10:25 p.m., a male resembling Nasir Grant came out of a residence wearing full female Muslim garb and a head covering. That gentleman piqued our interest. He got into a vehicle. We followed that vehicle over here to the 2800 block of West Dauphin Street, and a felony vehicle stop was conducted," said U.S. Marshals Supervisory Deputy Marshal Robert Clark.

Grant was taken into custody without incident. The DA's Office charged him with felony escape following his arrest. His bail was set at $10 million.

Earlier this week, police announced the arrest of 21-year-old Xianni Stalling, who also allegedly aided in the escape of Grant and Hurst.

Charges against her include felony escape, hindering apprehension and conspiracy.

According to Philadelphia police, there is evidence of communication between Stalling and Hurst.

Documents reveal Hurst allegedly made two phone calls to Stalling, planning their escape and making arrangements.

During a recorded video conversation with another inmate one day after the escape, Stalling asked if he heard about the inmates escaping.

"You had an opportunity to run from jail," Stalling allegedly says.

This conversation happened two hours before prison staff or police knew about the escape.

Sources tell Action News that Stalling was actually an inmate at the same prison for an attempted murder charge. She was released in February.

David Robinson, the head of the union representing the corrections officers at PICC, is familiar with Stalling's background. He believes she could have met the inmates while behind bars.

"There's a strong possibility if they didn't know each other on the streets, they would never have even met each other if they weren't housed on the same exact side of the jail," Robinson said.

We asked Robinson how an inmate can communicate with someone on the outside. He says there are a few ways.

"They can get contraband by cell phone, they have telephone lines inside the institution, they also have video tablets," he said. "So it's a wide range of communication inside these institutions."

We asked if phones are monitored. Robinson said, "They should be. Yes."

Hurst was charged with four murders in Philadelphia, including the killing of Rodney Hargrove, who was shot dead an hour after his release from the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility.

Authorities say the inmates cut a hole in a fence at the prison around 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

The prison didn't become aware the inmates were missing until 3 p.m. Monday, according to Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney.

The U.S. Marshals and Philadelphia police have a combined reward of $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest of each escaped inmate.

Anyone with information on the second suspect is asked to call the police tip line at 215-546-TIPS or call 911 immediately.

Missed headcounts

Carney says there were three headcounts which took place at 11 p.m. Sunday, 3 a.m. Monday, and 7 a.m. Monday before learning of the escape.

It's still unclear how the missing inmates went under the radar.

Action News asked Carney if she believed someone on her staff aided in the escape or if it was a case of negligence.

She responded by saying we would have to wait for an official investigation.

Raising concerns

The Pennsylvania Prison Society has been raising concerns about this prison for years.

"There are very clear issues with the way the jail is managed. We had 10 deaths in 2022," said Noah Barth of the Pennsylvania Prison Society, who is the prison monitoring director for the independent group.

He says he's seen problems here for years. He last inspected that facility in the fall.

"The staffing shortage and the mismanagement within the Philadelphia jails has manifested in dangerous and deadly manners every day on a daily basis," said Barth.

Barth says the recent escape points to the lack of monitoring behind these walls.

"The motivation to leave is obvious. Additionally, there has been a lack of supervision," he says.

Staffing is down about 40% at the prison.