Wednesday Morning News Roundup
Internal Investigation Launched into How Jail Inmate Escaped
An inmate facing federal trafficking and weapon offenses who escaped custody at the county jail in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood late Monday remains at large, according to a San Francisco sheriff’s spokeswoman.
The 26-year-old inmate, Alexander Santiago-Gonzales, was not handcuffed and was not in a secure part of the jail when he escaped, according to San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Kathy Gorwood.
Gorwood said the inmate was taking out the trash under the watch of a sheriff’s deputy at about 8:45 p.m. Monday. The male deputy was escorting the inmate to the basement of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. to take out the trash when the inmate fled on Harriet Alley in the direction of Harrison Street.
The deputy chased after the inmate, who was wearing an all-orange jail-issued outfit, but was not able to apprehend him, according to Gorwood.
Gorwood could not say how long the deputy had been with the department or if he was following jail protocol.
Other deputies and officers from the San Francisco Police Department responded to aid in the search but as of this afternoon, Santiago-Gonzales had not been located, she said.
Gorwood said deputies believe that Santiago-Gonzales is no longer wearing the orange jail-issued clothing. She said he was also issued orange underwear and may have been wearing orange shoes.
Sheriff’s officials said Santiago-Gonzales was booked into jail in July 2014 on a U.S. Marshals Service hold for narcotics trafficking, possession of a firearm and for being a felon in possession of firearms in narcotics trafficking.
The sheriff’s department notified U.S. Marshals and law enforcement agencies in surrounding areas and has begun an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Gorwood said an internal investigation will inform the sheriff’s department on changes to protocol made since the last inmate escaped the jail less than a year ago, and whether protocol was followed Monday.
She said inmates, if they pass a screening process, have chores such as taking out the trash, cleaning housing units, and performing kitchen duties at the jail.
An inmate who was also assigned to trash duty escaped the jail in June 2014. That man was later located at a homeless shelter and arrested.
Santiago-Gonzales has previously resided in Pescadero, Gorwood said.
Anyone who believes they see the escapee should stay away and call law enforcement immediately.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Santiago-Gonzales is being asked to call (415) 734-3111 or 911.
3 Power Outages At Hall of Justice Occur in Roughly 3-Hour Span
Three power outages have occurred within the span of roughly three hours at San Francisco’s Hall of Justice today, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.
The most recent outage was reported at 5:43 p.m. at the courthouse located at 850 Bryant St., San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Kathy Gorwood said.
Gorwood had no estimated time of when power would be restored.
Power first went out around 3 p.m. for the entire building, she said.
PG&E was notified of an outage at 3:40 p.m. at the courthouse at 850 Bryant St., but determined service to the building was never interrupted and that the outage was a “customer-caused issue” involving other infrastructure in the building, PG&E spokesman Nick Smith said.
Smith said PG&E crews are on the scene assisting in restoring power.
The city has jails cells located on the sixth and seventh floors of the building where a backup generator quickly restored power and emergency lights immediately turned on, Gorwood said.
Currently there are no inmates on the sixth floor, she said.
Power was restored by about 4 p.m., according to Gorwood.
A second outage was reported less than an hour later at 4:50 p.m. and the backup generator gave limited power to the cells, she said.
Inmates were confined to their cells and their movement was restricted before power returned shortly before 5:30 p.m., she said.
The Hall of Justice houses the headquarters of the San Francisco Police Department and the district attorney’s and medical examiner’s offices, as well as dozens of courtrooms and two county jails.
Man Stabs Union Square Security Guard in Arm
A man stabbed a security guard in the arm with a pocketknife at
San Francisco’s Union Square early Tuesday morning, police said.
The suspect, described as a man in his mid 20s, was in Union Square around 3:45 a.m. when a male security guard approached him.
According to officers, the park was closed for the night and the security guard asked the man to leave.
The suspect refused to leave the park and then cut the security guard in his arm with a pocketknife, police said.
Officers said the suspect fled the area and has not been arrested as of this morning.
The security guard suffered a minor laceration and declined medical transport, police said.
Suspected Grenade Found in Bernal Heights Yard Deemed Harmless
A resident in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood found a suspected grenade while gardening in her backyard Tuesday evening, police said.
The resident, who lives on Lundys Lane near Bernal Heights Park, found the suspected grenade at about 6:30 p.m. and called police.
The San Francisco Police Department’s bomb squad responded to the home and determined that the grenade was only a replica and not a threat.