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Officers foil jail inmate escape try thru ceiling
escape ceiling
A routine welfare check of the administrative segregation unit at the San Joaquin County Jail – where inmates that are deemed to be a threat to themselves, other inmates, or jail staff are housed – turned out to be anything but routine when a correctional officer noticed an inmate partially out of their cell after having created a hole in the ceiling.

Last week during a routine inspection of the administration segregation unit at the San Joaquin County Jail a correctional officer saw something that they had never seen before – an inmate trying to escape through the ceiling.

According to authorities it was a routine welfare check on those in the unit reserved for inmates that are deemed a threat to either themselves or staff that turned out to be anything but routine when the correctional officer saw Richard Joseph Armendariz, 36, standing on a desk without his head visible.

When the officer looked closer, they could see that Armendariz had created a hole in the ceiling and removed several pieces of the ceiling – including the cage from the tire detector and a large piece of metal from the back of the light in the cell – in an effort to gain access to the crawlspace above.

According to the sheriff’s office even if Armendariz had managed to get completely out of the cell, he wouldn’t have been able to escape as the only point of exit in the administrative segregation unit is through the door.

Jail clothing that was stuffed to make it appear like the silhouette of a human body was also found in the bed to make it appear like he was sleeping.

In addition to additional charges for causing damage to public property and attempted escape, Armendariz is also being charged with battery of a correctional officer for an incident that occurred during his extraction from the cell.

Armendariz was being held without bail on a host of charges that included multiple incidents of vehicle theft, assault with a deadly weapon, violation of a protective court order. He is scheduled to appear in court today at 8:30 in Stockton to answer to the new charges.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.