Attorney was accidentally locked in jail for four hours

Attorney was accidentally locked in jail for four hours

A California lawyer in the San Diego area was furious after being trapped and forgotten inside a jail for hours. The attorney, Erubey Lopez, said that it began when he went to visit a client in jail. He went into the locked visiting room and patiently waited inside. Half an hour passed, and his client had still not been brought into him. “I didn’t have my cell phone with me because the policy is you can’t use your cell phone inside the jail,” said Lopez as he recalled the event.

Lopez tried using the intercom button and it would not work. After waiting for about an hour, Lopez then began beating on the door to have someone let him out. Lopez laid his head on his sweater, which he used as a pillow, and recalled how Daniel Chong, a UCSD student, was left and forgotten inside a holding cell in April for five days. Chong ended up filing a claim asking for $20 million for the incident he said was “life-altering.”

After four hours, Lopez said that a guard heard him and freed him. Sheriff’s Commander John Ingrassia said that it was an “unfortunate incident on our part. It was a breakdown in communication.” Lopez’s client was being booked into jail when Lopez arrived, and that process takes several deputies. A sheriff’s official called and apologized to Lopez following the incident. Lopez is still concerned over the safety inside the jail. He found out that the intercom he had tried to use had been broken for eight months. Although Lopez is not sure if he plans to file a lawsuit, he does want action to be taken over the safety of the local jails.

Source: ABA Journal. “Police deem lawyer’s accidental lockup an ‘unfortunate incident’.” By Debra Cassens Weiss, February 25, 2013.

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