TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Deputies with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department apprehended 29-year-old Jose Fernandez after he escaped from the Pima County Adult Detention Complex on Tuesday.
Authorities captured Fernandez near Valencia Road and Park Avenue, according to a release from PCSD, around 8:30 p.m. April 8, 2020.
The department said Fernandez was not in his cell Wednesday morning during a routine check. A further investigation revealed Fernandez escaped at around 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 7.
Fernandez scaled a block wall and managed to break through the steel mesh that covered the exercise yard. This went unnoticed by corrections staff monitoring the inmates, according to PCSD.
He was a pretrial inmate booked into the jail Feb. 24, 2020, for aggravated assault, auto theft and vandalism.
An initial investigation found that Fernandez was “inappropriately” transferred to a lower security area of the facility. However, he had been in custody for approximately six weeks and had not exhibited any behaviors that led staff to believe he was not suitable for a lower security placement, according to PCSD.
It appears that corrections staff failed to provide appropriate oversight of the inmates in the recreation yard and that the evening physical head count was not conducted in accordance with department policies and procedures. This allowed Fernandez’s escape to go unnoticed for an unacceptable amount of time, according to the release.
In a news release, officials with PCSD said they plan to address the events that lead to Fernandez’s escape in a formal review of the incident and take corrective action.