Society

Inmates Film Themselves Escaping From Jail (Video)

| by Michael Allen

A video (below) recently surfaced of three inmates escaping from the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, California, in 2016.

The edited video was given to KNBC by a lawyer connected to the case. The video includes the escape and their time on the run during a statewide manhunt.

Eight days after their escape, two of the convicts were caught by authorities in San Francisco; the third chose to surrender to police.

The inmates filmed themselves on cellphones, but it's not clear how they obtained the devices.

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One of the inmates, Adam Hossein Nayeri, calmly describes the escape in a voiceover on the video:

A lot of people like to credit us with some Houdini escape act all in eight minutes flat. It's an interesting myth ... In reality, it is true, we did leave that module after count. Not the one they're claiming though. I left that module at least eight hours earlier the night before. It took three hours just to set things up.

Nayeri, who narrates the video, says the authorities made it easy to escape.

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The inmates -- Nayeri, Bac Duong, Jonathan Tieu -- are seen on the video escaping from their cell through a vent, crawling through plumbing shafts and making it to the roof of the jail.

Nayeri says on the video they had a toolbox, industrial ropes, new clothes and a duffel bag.

Nayeri makes a reference to Long Ma, a taxi driver whom the convicts allegedly kidnapped and had drive them to San Francisco.

"We were so grateful that he decided to help us," he says. "This man is truly a hero. I wonder if people will ever realize what I'm talking about."

"This is Bac," Nayeri describes Duong. "The first man in history to try to collect reward money on himself."

Duong and Ma went back to Santa Ana where Duong turned himself in. Duong and Ma reportedly tried to collect the reward money for the three inmates.

Nayeri describes how Tieu was placed in solitary confinement in a manner that does not happen in Guantanamo Bay.

The video also shows Nayeri and Tieu living in a van in San Francisco where Nayeri describes their living conditions:

This is our casa right now for the moment. This is our crib. Water, all the basics. You want some bananas. No, we don't have crack, we don't have crystal meth. We are smoking weed and eating bananas. It's kinda bananas. No, we're not doing the crazy things they are saying.

The video doesn't show the men being arrested, but Nayeri later expresses his regret:

We cost the taxpayers a lot of money, People work hard to earn a living. More than that, we scared a lot of people and caused a lot of anxiety and fear, and at the end of the day I can't say I feel good about that. I can't.

Nayeri also notes the corruption of prison workers:

Most folks don't want to believe that law enforcement can be a little less than honest, to put it lightly. People have no clue what these guys are capable of if they set their sights on you.

"We will not provide additional comment on a video narrative that seeks to or make light of criminal actions," Lt. Lane Lagaret, an Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman, told KNBC.

A grand jury report found that deputies at the jail had complained for a long time how monitoring procedures allowed the men to escape, but nothing was done to fix the situation, notes the Los Angeles Times.

The report also mentioned problems in counting inmates, deputies allowing tents to be built around bunks, the failed monitoring of the jail's plumbing system, and a lack of lighting on the roof where the inmates rappelled down from.

Sources: KNBC, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Pixabay, 888 Bail Bond/Wikimedia Commons, Orange County Archives/Flickr

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