Scott Anthony Gomez Jr., breaking out of Colorado’s Pueblo County Jail, for the second time, fell as he tried to rappel on bedsheets down the side of the 85-foot building. Now, the Los Angeles Times reports, he is suing the county sheriff, saying authorities caused his injuries by making it too easy to fly the coop.
Filed this month in federal court in Denver, the case has attracted attention statewide and on the Internet, mostly from people chuckling and fuming at Gomez’s legal efforts. “It doesn’t pass the straight-face test,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor, who took office one day before Gomez’s second escape one year ago. Taylor said security was a priority during his first year on the job. Built in 1978, the five-story jail had weaknesses, including a sub-par door-locking system in which prisoners did “have the ability to pop their cell doors,” Taylor said. Intended to hold about 189 inmates, the jail routinely housed 300, requiring the use of bunk beds. “You give them access to the ceiling because of the second bunk,” Taylor said. In last year, the sheriff has spent $1.2 million to improve security, including welding shut the ceiling panels and overhauling the door-locking system.