A Cook County Jail inmate locked up only five days ago jumped into a construction pit and was trapped as he and other inmates were escorted to kitchen duty this afternoon, a jail spokesman said.
The man, 40, was expected to be given a psychological evaluation at Cermak Hospital after being treated this afternoon at Mount Sinai Hospital following the incident about 2:30 p.m. in a yard at Cook County Jail, 2715 S. Sacramento Ave., said Frank Bilecki, a spokesman for the Cook County Sheriff.
The man is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail on a retail theft charge out of the Rolling Meadows Branch Court after being booked into the jail on April 16, records show. He was one of a group of jail inmates being escorted by guards from one domitory to another for an afternoon work detail in a jail kitchen when he ran out of line, jumped over a plastic construction barrier and jumped into a ditch, Bilecki said. The ditch, about 5 to 6 feet wide and about 8 feet deep, was recently dug by construction crews working to replace a water connection at the jail, Bilecki said.
Guards, who were at the front and back of the column of prisoners as they walked through the yard, had the prisoner in sight the whole time, and it’s unknown whether the man actually was trying to escape, Bilecki said. Once the man was in the ditch, he was unable to get out on his own, as he became stuck in earth and gravel, and firefighters were called to the jail, officials said.
Once in the hole, the inmate became trapped in soft earth but was brought out of the hole about 2:55 p.m., according to the Chicago Fire Department’s media office.
After the rescue, the person was alert and suffering minor injuries but taken to Mount Sinai Hospital via Fire Department ambulance, according to the Fire Department.