DENVER (CBS4) – A recaptured fugitive who was injured while trying to escape from U.S. Marshals by jumping into a Denver building’s trash chute was set to be extradited out of state on Friday.
Donnie Griffin, 31, was arrested in February after falling 17 floors through the chute of the Glass House building on the 1700 block of Bassett Street. Griffin told CBS4 over the phone that he had been working for the federal government as an informant.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service said Griffin was on the run after he escaped a prison work camp in Texas last September.
Griffin says he was running from terrorists that threatened his mother’s life when they learned he was a federal informant.
Griffin says while he was in custody he gave up information about prisoners with ties to a militia group known as The Montana Freemen.
“I figured the pursuers that were coming after her were going to kill her,” he said.
Griffin says he and his mom were staying at the downtown Denver condo building when a person claiming to be a maintenance worker knocked at the door.
Griffin says his heart dropped when he looked through the condo’s peephole.
“Most disturbing of all in the corner of the peephole you could actually see a gunbarrel that was pointed at the side of the door,” he said.
Griffin claims the person on the other side of the door never identified themselves as law enforcement, so he told his mother to hide while he climbed out of the 20th floor balcony.
“I just knew that would be the last time I would say goodbye to her,” he said.
Griffin’s mother also spoke to CBS4 about her son’s actions.
“He just hugged me and kissed me and he said ‘Mom, this will probably be the last time — unless they catch me — this will probably be the last time you see me alive,’ ” she said.
Griffin tied a sheet to the balcony and slid down to the floor below and tried to hide in the trash chute.
“Apparently I fell at some point and I landed pretty much close to the ground floor,” he said.
“My son is my hero because of the fact that he risked everything.”
Griffin says he took out his obituary in a Florida newspaper in hopes that the people pursuing him and his mother would be believe he had died.
FBI sources would not confirm or deny if Griffin was ever an informant.
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