Scathing report on suspect's escape

June 12, 2008 10:13:13 AM PDT
A scathing new report concludes that guards did almost everything wrong when a murder suspect escaped back in February.

Police are still looking for the suspect. But, they plan to make some serious policy changes at the jail. Those changes are taking place at the Youth Services Center in San Mateo following the escape of 17-year old Josue Orozco last February - who was facing trial as an adult for allegedly shooting and killing a rival gang member.

Orozco was playing basketball at the facility, unsupervised, when two accomplices helped him over one wall, which was topped by mesh netting, not razor wire, and then he went through a chain link fence where a hole had been cut.

The report released Wednesday says the two people staffing that unit were not best suited for the job; one was temporary and one was probationary and no one was watching them. And, one was on a food break and the other was playing chess at the time of the escape. As far as security cameras, some weren't working, and none had a view of the area where Orozco escaped.

When the escape was discovered, sheriff's deputies were given the wrong name. County law enforcement agencies weren't told for two hours, state agencies didn't find out until 90 minutes after that.

There was also confusion about how to get an arrest warrant. Now, the sheriff's office says there was no confusion around the time of the escape.

The county probation office says some of the recommendations in the report have been put in place, and it welcomes the report.


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