Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
These five suspects including a man arrested for homicide have broken out of jail by filing through metal bars in their cell and running out into the deserted streets during coronavirus lockdown.
The incident occurred at the 10th Precinct in the Piquete Las Flores neighbourhood in the city of Santa Fe located in the Santa Fe province in northern Argentina on Sunday 12th April.
Local media report the suspects managed to escape after filing through metal bars located in the top part of the cell where they were being held.
They then walked across the roof to another house where they were able to access the street.
They reportedly stole a man’s bike to finish their escape but it is unclear if they all used the bike.
Authorities noticed the bars had been compromised which led them to check on the number of prisoners inside and they confirmed that five had escaped.
The men who escaped have been reported as Walter Benitez, 25, who is suspected of homicide, Víctor Rios, 26, suspected of theft and Milton Alvarez, 22, suspected of robbery.
The other two, Angel Ojeda Zotelo, 28 and Brian Exequiel Fernandez, 27, were arrested for resisting authority.
An investigation has been launched and is being led by prosecutor Maria Laura Marti who is conducting interviews with the other prisoners over video calls as the country remains in quarantine due to COVID-19.
Marti is reportedly also looking into the officers at the station as it remains unclear if the escape was due to negligence, complicity or lack of personnel.
There were reportedly two police officers at the precinct during the escape which would make it very difficult to guard all the prisoners.
Local media report overcrowding may have also been a factor in their escape as there were 13 men detained in a cell fitted for six. It is unclear who the other prisoners were or why they did not attempt to escape.
The five suspected criminals are still being searched for in the area as the city remains in quarantine.
Argentina is expected to remain in lockdown until 26th April. According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, there have been 2,277 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 98 deaths in the country.
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