A Louisiana jail inmate suspected of murder who escaped custody on Sunday was recaptured Tuesday and found at a hotel in New Orleans, authorities said.

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An escaped Louisiana jail inmate facing a murder charge was recaptured after he pepper-sprayed a deputy during a medical transport in which he faked a seizure and several injuries so he wouldn’t have to be handcuffed, authorities said Tuesday. 

Leon Ruffin, 51, was found at the Trident Inn hotel in New Orleans following his Sunday escape, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said. He was taken into custody around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

Ruffin appeared to be “locked up” in a hotel room, Lopinto said. 

“I don’t think he had a really good time over the last two days,”he said. 

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Leon Ruffin mugshot

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office recaptured suspected murderer Leon Ruffin, who escaped from custody Sunday evening.  (Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office)

The takedown was made with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service. 

Ruffin most likely faked a seizure on Sunday morning and fell and hit his head, the sheriff said. It was determined by jail medical staff that he needed to be taken to a hospital. 

At the hospital, doctors ran tests on Ruffin for seizures but no results have been released as of his capture. 

“I assume they’ll probably be negative,” Lopinto said. “You wish you could take people on their faith and say OK ‘You’re hurt’ and this is the case, and we’re going to treat you with the respect that you deserve.”

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Ruffin had been in custody since July on multiple charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office car

It is unclear where Ruffin found the pepper spray he used on a female deputy before escaping custody. (Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office)

Lopinto said Ruffin was transported from the Ochsner Medical Center to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center at about 6:40 p.m. Sunday following treatment for a seizure. During the ride, Ruffin created a disturbance, prompting the escorting deputy to exit the vehicle.

When the deputy opened the vehicle door to address the disturbance, Ruffin allegedly used pepper spray on her, before charging at her and stealing the vehicle. The deputy shot toward Ruffin multiple times.

“She believed the person, and he took advantage of the situation,” Lopinto said of the deputy. 

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The vehicle was found abandoned hours later. 

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