Crime

He impersonated another inmate to escape Pierce County Jail, charges say

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The 34-year-old had the right paperwork to leave jail.

The right clothes.

And confidently gave the right date of birth.

None of them were his, according to charging papers filed Friday in Pierce County Superior Court.

The man allegedly impersonated another inmate to escape the jail May 6.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment Friday to second-degree escape and first-degree criminal impersonation after being caught.

According to charging papers:

The inmate who was supposed to be released was in the shower when a corrections officer called his name.

The imposter, who was in jail on two drug possession cases, answered the call instead.

He stepped forward with the other man’s paperwork.

The inmates have a similar height, hair color and build.

“Officers noted the defendant had impersonated (the other inmate) throughout the release process, including to putting on his clothes prior to leaving the jail,” the declaration for determination of probable cause reads. “Both officers involved in the release said the defendant had shown no signs of nervousness and confidently answered with the matching birth date, (of the other inmate) when asked to verify it.”

It was during a formal count of the unit that officers realized the 34-year-old was gone, and the inmate who was supposed to be released was still there.

Investigators found that the imposter made a call from the jail to have someone pick him up at 9th and Yakima upon his release.

Records show he was booked back into jail Thursday morning.

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