Inmate escapes from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin

March 3, 2011 5:16:50 PM PST
Alameda County Sheriff's deputies are looking for a 21-year-old inmate who walked away from Santa Rita Jail on Tuesday.

Ismael Cesda, also known as Ismael Ramirez, is facing stolen vehicle and pursuit charges out of Fremont. The last time he was noticed was when he had returned from the Fremont courthouse about 6 p.m. Tuesday night. He then somehow made it to the area of the jail where inmates are released. Jail staff discovered that he was missing about 11 p.m. that night when they did a head count.

"We're doing our own internal investigation to see what happened. Escapes out of this jail are very rare and we are not sure if this is the physical make-up of the facility that allowed him to escape or was there human error that was involved," Alameda County Sheriff's Spokesperson Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

ABC7 received a tour of the facility and doors were inspected to make sure they lock properly. There are seven doors between where Cesda first re-entered the jail and the area from which inmates are released, and each of the doors must be unlocked by a guard.

Cameras are everywhere -- well almost everywhere.

"There is videotape surveillance but unfortunately the release area is not part of that videotape area," Sgt. Nelson said.

An inmate, who was recently released from the jail, said you have to go through a minimum of five locked doors to be released.

"It's very difficult (to leave), you have to go through three doors where they press and unlock them for you. In order for you to get upstairs, they have to press two more of those (buttons) for you to even get out," said a recently released inmate.

"So this is not something where you can just walk out a door?" asked ABC7's Terry McSweeney.

"No, there are too many cameras and too many buttons to be pushed in order for you to get upstairs," said the inmate.

Cesda is about 5-feet 6-inches tall and 140 pounds. He was wearing a gray sweatsuit at the time.

Authorities think Mr. Cesda is on his way to Mexico, since he is from that country. He has relatives in the Bay Area. Anyone who may have seen Cesda please call 911 or their local law enforcement agency.


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