SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped in the Lake Tahoe area.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/O93dtf ) 51-year-old Anthony James Katello escaped Thursday after a judge released him from jail for a few hours to take care of personal business before beginning his sentence at a state prison on spousal abuse charges.

El Dorado County Sheriff's Lt. Pete Van Arnum says Katello ran off when a volunteer from a local church drove him to the area surrounding Barton Memorial Hospital.

Van Arnum says sheriff's deputies, South Lake Tahoe SWAT and a CHP airplane were searching the area for hours.

Police have issued a warrant for Katello's arrest. Anyone who sees him is asked to call 911.

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Information from: Tahoe Daily Tribune, http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/