LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - An escaped prisoner in Terry County is now back behind bars. His elaborate break out plan helped him get out of the facility without anyone seeing him until it was too late.
22-year-old Raymond Rodriguez Jr. escaped from the Terry County Jail on Saturday a little after noon. His disappearance rattled law enforcement, those who knew him, and the community. "I would tell Raymond to turn himself in. We don't want to see him get hurt," said Eddie Rocha, whose known Rodriguez since he was a baby.
"Unnerving that it can happen in a town like Brownfield where we don't expect stuff like that to go on. For it to be so close to me is not very comforting," said Ruby Moultrie. As soon as the Sheriff's Department realized Rodriguez escaped, they called in several law enforcement agencies to assist including tracking dogs and an aerial search team. Sheriff Larry Gilbreath says he's dealt with escapes before, but none quite as elaborate as this one. "It appears to me he gave it quite a bit of thought," he said.
Rodriguez, who awaits trial charged with robbery, unsecured a heater vent in the library. "He went up through the heater vent, got into the roof, and worked his way into the West side of the building where he dropped down into the Jail Captain's office," said Gilbreath.
This was not an easy task, considering the area he crawled through is pitch black. Once inside the office, Rodriguez broke open a window with a chair, climbed out, and then a witness saw him run between nearby buildings."
After searching for more than 24 hours, law enforcement got a call telling them Rodriguez may be hiding at a residence on South 3rd Street in Brownfield. They followed up on the tip and re-arrested him about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Now that they've found their escapee, they must focus their attention on preventing this from happening again. The Sheriff says they'll start by securing all vents, and the department will consider putting in solid ceilings. "This is a pretty secure facility, and he has shown us an achilles tendon that I was not aware of," said Gilbreath.
Law enforcement charged Rodriguez with escape, which could carry a penalty of two to 10 years.
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