Changes to Be Made After Recent Jail Escapee

Changes are on the way for the City Detention Center in downtown Corpus Christi, after a detainee managed to escape while being transported.

After Saturday night's incident, authorities now realize improvements need to be made. According to Municipal Interim Director Jay Reining, who is overseeing the investigation, it is being considered a wakeup call.

When something like this happens in any situation, policies and procedures tend to be re-examined. That is exactly what is happening in Corpus Christi, according to Reining. The top two issues that will be addressed are the lack of formal training for employees, and the lack of policy when it comes to transporting the detainees.

The goal is to have these improvements in place within two years. Reining said the money is already there in the budget to make it happen.

This all stems from what happened Saturday night, when 30-year old Joe Hernandez  was arrested for drug possession and booked into the City Detention Center. Because Hernandez had felony warrants on his rap sheet, he was later transported to the Nueces County Jail.

According to police, as Hernandez and the other inmates were getting out of the transport van, the repeat offender made his move. Hernandez was handcuffed, but only by one hand.

"One of the cuffs was attached to a chain," Reining said. "The other was attached to his wrist. Theoretically, they were all tight. The handcuffs you think are tight, they can try to maneuver the hand."

Hernandez managed to pull his hand out of the cuff. According to police, just before the jail's sally port door closed shut, he slipped under it and took off.

Hernandez, who police said has a long criminal history, was captured a couple hours later by one of the Corpus Christi Police Department's K-9 units.


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