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Criminal Justice

Police deem lawyer’s accidental lockup an ‘unfortunate incident’

Posted Feb 25, 2013 7:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A California lawyer was locked up for four hours in a visiting room at the San Diego jail last Tuesday in an accidental incarceration that police attribute to “a breakdown in communication.”

Vista lawyer Erubey Lopez went to the jail to visit a client, but four hours passed with no signs of the client and no response from guards, report U-T San Diego and NBC 7 San Diego. Lopez tried using the intercom, but it didn’t work. He tried yelling and banging on the door, but no one responded. He had no cell phone because he isn’t allowed to use one in the jail.

Sheriff’s Cmdr. John Ingrassia confirmed the “unfortunate incident on our part” in an interview with UT-San Diego. He said Lopez’s client was being booked into the jail when Lopez arrived, a process that involves several deputies. Police apparently didn’t get the message that Lopez was waiting. “It was a breakdown in communication,” Ingrassia said.

Ingrassia acknowledged that the intercom was not working. Lopez could have used another nearby system, but it was not clearly marked, according to Ingrassia.

Lopez is considering filing a formal complaint, UT-San Diego says. “What if I had been sick or had heart issues?” he wondered.

Hat tip to the Raw Story.

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