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Reality Training: Inmate’s attempted escape by ceiling

One take-away from this video is an inmate’s tenacity when it comes to making a break for it

This video shows an inmate’s tenacity when it comes to an escape attempt. Roman Orozco Martinez, 22, had been arrested for burglarizing vehicles, but he wasn’t content to sit in the holding cell the Alton, Texas, police had assigned him.

Watch as he carefully removes tiles from the ceiling, then waits for potentially patrolling corrections officers to move by. He then pulls down more of the ceiling and lifts himself up, only to come crashing 10 feet back down.

He and another inmate were both charged with a similar escape. Take a look at the video and then join us below for some questions to get discussion going.

This video serves as an excellent example of the determination of criminals.

Several questions:

• The inmate makes repeated attempts to get out. What would this indicate to a corrections officer? Determination!

• This video illustrates what: Offenders, no matter where they are housed, no matter what the crime-are ‘always thinking-all of the time.’

• What should the inmate be looking more at? The ceiling as a means of escape? No, all offenders/inmates who are confined should be looking constantly for you!

• How often should a CO check offenders? We get complacent-the proverbial twice an hour or every 15 minutes in cases of juveniles, suicidal or mentally ill offenders may not be enough. Sometimes COs have to check very, very frequently, possibly every 5-6 minutes. You can ask for help-other officers walking by can always look in.

• What is one of the biggest enemies COs have? Complacency. In the video, the CO walks in and apparently does not look up. Never take anything for granted.

• Think liability! If that offender injures himself and sues the jail, that video will be played in open court. Maybe he will lose his lawsuit-or maybe he won’t. Lawyers will say that it is the jail’s fault-they should have checked more and prevented that offender from harming himself. This is in addition to Internal Affairs, the agency attorney and supervisors all looking at it, also.

This series of columns takes recent situations in the news and uses video footage to start a discussion.