This past Monday evening, a pair of inmates held inside a Virginia prison were able to escape their cells by digging an escape hatch through one of the cell walls by utilizing a number of "primitive-made" tools. The pair were taken back into custody fairly quickly due to taking a quick breakfast break inside of a local IHOP restaurant.
The pair in question, 43-year-old Arley V. Nemo and 37-year-old John M. Garza, were taken back into custody by law enforcement officials from the Newport News Jail Annex just a scant few hours later when local citizens were able to spot the two inmates relaxing inside of an IHOP diner located in Hampton, Virginia, that was situated just about 10 miles from the facility they departed in the middle of the night.
"I’m thankful for the citizens who observed Garza and Nemo at the IHOP and notified law enforcement," explained Sheriff Gabe Morgan as part of a press release. "It reinforces what we always say ‘see something, say something.'"
At just about seven in the evening on Monday, Nemo and Garza were first reported to be missing from their jail cells in the wake of a fairly routine head count. As discovered due to a preliminary investigation carried out by the sheriff's office, the pair of inmates were able to break out by digging straight through the brick wall with a set of tools crafted out of a toothbrush and a piece of metal and untying the rebar reinforcements inside of the wall. A picture released by police officials showed the oval-shaped hole allegedly dug by the inmates being just large enough to squeeze through.
Once the inmates were able to get out of their cells, authorities stated that Nemo and Garza quickly scaled the containment wall of the jail facility.
"Due to the fact that this weakness presents itself throughout the facility, and until all weaknesses are identified and secured, we will not discuss the situation further for security reasons," released police officials.
The sheriff's office stated that ongoing internal and criminal investigations are being carried out in order to "minimize the chances of such an event happening again."
As a resident of Hampton, Garza had been taken in originally on a number of charges such as contempt of court, probation violations, and failure to appear.
Nemo, on the other hand, was a resident of Gloucester and in custody due to charges of credit card fraud and larceny, forgery, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny, contempt of court, and probation violation.
Any charges in relation to the escape event are still pending for both men, concluded the sheriff's office.