SANTA ANA, Calif. --The woman who helped turned in Bac Duong, one of the three Orange County jail escapees, broke her silence Friday in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News.
Theresa Nguyen says Duong, whom she calls her friend, came to her for help.
"He wanted to do the right thing, and that's all we did was help him do the right thing, turn himself in," she said.
Nguyen called 911 and told the dispatcher, "The three inmates that escaped? I have one of them here. He just came here. He said he's scared to turn himself in, so he asked me to call."
MORE: Timeline of search effort for 3 escaped Orange County inmates
Surveillance video shows sheriff's deputies taking Duong into custody. Nguyen said he tried to call her several times on Jan. 29 but she did not answer his calls. He then showed up at her family's auto electrical repair shop in Santa Ana.
She said his face was swollen from fighting with Hossein Nayeri because Duong refused to kill their cab driver, Long Hoang Ma. Nguyen hopes prosecutors take these actions into account.
"If Bac Duong didn't turn himself in that day, they wouldn't have caught the other two," Nguyen said.
She's frustrated because she says sheriff's deputies showed up at her family's business this week to search the property, again. The Orange County Sheriff's Department tells Eyewitness News it was a routine check by its auto theft task force, but Nguyen doesn't buy it.
"I don't know what the Orange County sheriff's intentions are, but I don't think it's right because we did the right thing. I did the right thing, I called," she said.
Nguyen says Duong is not a bad man but needs to face what he did. She says he's already called her from jail to say he regrets escaping.
"He affected so many people. He apologized to me, my family, to his family," Nguyen said.