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Inmates release video showing brazen escape from California prison

Escape caught on video

SANTA ANA -- New cell phone video released Wednesday shows how three inmates escaped from an Orange County jail last year, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The 10-minute video, a manifesto of sorts, was made by Adam Hossein Nayeri, one of the inmates who broke out of the Men's Central Jail in Santa Ana in January 2016.

One of three inmates who escaped in January 2016. AP

A statewide manhunt ensued for Hossein Nayeri, Jonathan Tieu and Bac Duong, who were all captured and back behind bars eight days later.

Nayeri evidently recorded the trio's escape with a contraband cell phone and gave the footage to his attorney, who released it Wednesday.

"A lot of people like to credit us with some Houdini escape act, all in eight minutes flat," Nayeri says in the video.

The footage shows them removing a grate in a sleeping area, squeezing into the plumbing system tunnels. When they reach the roof, they took selfies, before rappelling down side of the building with "industrial ropes" from bundles they stored there.

The video also shows images from their road trip to Santa Cruz and San Francisco, where they visited the Haight-Ashbury, and pictures of the smiling taxi driver they kidnapped. Authorities say Duong and Nayeri argued about whether to kill him, but Nayeri refutes that assertion in the video.

"We are so grateful this man decided to help us. This man is truly a hero," Nayeri says in the video.

Video shot by three inmates with a smuggled mobile phone shows their methodical escape through a vent at the maximum-security wing of a southern California jail last year. AP

Later in the video, Nayeri and Tieu are seen hiding in a white panel van, apparently eating bananas and drinking Jim Beam whiskey.

Nayeri later sounds apologetic in the video.

"We scared the hell out of people and caused a lot of anxiety and fear. At the end of the day, I can't say I feel good about that," he says.

"The video released today contains footage that is part of an ongoing investigation and is consistent with information OCSD has already supplied verbally to the media," a statement from the Orange County Sheriff's Department said.