Jailbreak sparks N.J. manhunt
Men placed dummies in beds; magazine photos over holes in walls
The Associated Press
updated 5:52 p.m. CT, Mon., Dec. 17, 2007
ELIZABETH, N.J. - Two inmates escaped from a county jail, hiding the holes they made in the walls by putting up photos of bikini-clad women, officials said.
Authorities searched over the weekend for Jose Espinosa, who was awaiting sentencing for manslaughter, and Otis Blunt, who was facing robbery and other charges. They also launched a review of jail security.
The two got out of the Union County jail Saturday evening. The county prosecutor's office said the two apparently removed cement blocks from two walls, squeezed through the openings, jumped to a rooftop below and then made it over a 25-foot-high fence. The section they escaped from was supposed to be the most secure area of the facility.
"I'm extremely disturbed that a jail with the capability of security it has would foster a breach of this nature," County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Monday's editions.
Espinosa, 20, an alleged gang member, was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a 2005 drive-by shooting in Elizabeth. Blunt, 32, was awaiting trial on charges of robbery and weapons offenses.
The men helped cover up the break by placing dummies under their bed blankets, and hiding the wall holes with magazine photos of women in bikinis, authorities said.
Authorities launched a review of security measures and barred inmates from pinning up pictures from magazines on their cell walls.