2 Escaped Inmates Pose as Fraternity Members

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Two convicts who had escaped a Louisiana prison told a University of Tennessee fraternity they were frat brothers from Tulane University who been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In an attempt to help, the fraternity opened its doors to the inmates, only to discover the two were on the run from authorities.

During the Katrina crisis, Zachary Arabie, 22, and Steven Ridge, 31, showed up at Lambda Chi Alpha with Tulane University identification cards. According to those interviewed by NBC news, they had very credible stories and presented themselves as fraternity brothers.

While on the run, both attended fraternity parties and even dated. But Arabie and Ridge, who were serving time for forgery and armed robbery, eventually were caught when they resumed their life of crime. Ridge was arrested for passing forged bills. Police believe both received Katrina aid totaling $4,000.

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