Escaped Stanislaus County jail inmate caught

pguerra@modbee.comApril 25, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate text Patty Guerra
    Title: Breaking news editor
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    Bio: Patty Guerra has been an editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 13 years. She has a journalism degree from Fresno State and previously worked at the Turlock Journal and Merced Sun-Star.
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A Stanislaus County jail inmate is facing additional charges after achieving short-lived freedom earlier this week.

Jail officials mistakenly released Ravon McGriff from the Public Safety Center on Monday afternoon, deputy Royjindar Singh confirmed. McGriff managed to get out by impersonating his cellmate, who was scheduled for release.

The cellmate was in transit from court and wasn't complicit in the effort, Singh said.

McGriff, who has a history of arrests for drug offenses and domestic violence, wasn't wearing the jail-issued identity bracelet inmates typically have on, and he answered some basic identity questions asked of inmates before release.

Singh said he could not elaborate on the nature of the questions.

A supervising sergeant sent an email notifying other county employees in the area about the error and asking them to call authorities if they spotted McGriff. Singh said a warning to the community would have been issued if McGriff had been considered a dangerous felon, or if he had been missing for long.

As it was, Modesto police picked him up within a few hours.

Singh said the maneuver was unusual: "I've worked here nine years and I've never heard of it happening."

He said an investigation will be conducted into the incident and the release process reviewed with deputies and civilian staff.

"We'll see if we need to change or adjust how we do things," Singh said.

McGriff now faces charges of giving false identity to a peace officer as well as his original charges of drug possession and violation of parole.

Bee Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter, @pattyguerra.

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