Recent escapes prove flaws in OCCCUPDATED 10:05 PM HST Aug 29, 2014Video Transcript
One security flaw after another... And a corrections escapee exposed them all! Good evening, I'm Paula Akana. And I'm Yunji de Nies. Public safety officials tell us tonight Daniel Skelton walked through the main entrance when he left the O-triple-C facility in Kalihi... He remained on the loose for two days. KITV4's Andrew Pereira joins with details of what was FAR from an elaborate escape, Andrew? Yunji and Paula, there were several opportunities to stop Skelton in his tracks ... those opportunities turned into slip-ups. 29 53 By the time 23-year-old Daniel Skelton was found in Nuuanu, he had been on the run for 2 days... And had dyed his hair orange and painted his face black. Public Safety Director Ted Sakai says two days of intense searching could've been easily prevented. TED SAKAI: "MY ASSESSMENT IS THIS ESCAPE SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED." When Skelton climbed into an air duct of a building known as Annex 1 and onto the roof, the first serious security flaw came to light. In 2013, Annex 1 was converted to house medium security inmates because of overcrowding. TED SAKAI: "UNFORTUNATEL Y WHEN WE DID THESE RETROFITS IN ANNEX 1, WE FAILED TO CONSIDER THAT THE CEILING AND THE ROOF MAY HAVE BEEN VULNERABLE." Actually, it was hardly even kid-proof. After Skelton removed some ceiling tiles, he dropped eight feet from the roof of Annex 1. From there he encountered a gate, and another flaw. TED SAKAI: "AND THAT GATE WAS NOT CLOSED AND LOCKED." ANDREW PEREIRA: "ONCE SKELTON WAS PAST THAT UNLOCKED GATE, HE WALKED ALONG THIS LINE OF PARKED CAR TO CONCEAL HIMSELF FROM THE GUARD TOWER AND ACTUALLY ESCAPED FROM THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE PRISON. A REVIEW OF SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS SHOWS THAT IT TOOK SKELTON LESS THAN TWO MINUTES TO REACH DILLINGHAM BOULEVARD." TED SAKAI: "ONCE HE GOT OFF THE ROOF HE HAD VIRTUALLY FREE REIGN." The mistakes started well before that.. Slip-ups that could cost a corrections officer or officers their jobs. Skelton was last seen at OCCC at 10 p.m. During two additional head counts at 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. he was counted present, but had already been gone for hours. TED SAKAI: "THEY'RE REQUIRED TO LOOK AT EVERY INMATE, THEY ARE REQUIRED TO OBSERVE FLESH AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO OBSERVE SOME MOVEMENT LIKE BREATHING 910 YOU KNOW IF THEY'RE SLEEPING." Improvements have been made to OCCC following Skelton's escape. That includes hardening the ceiling in Annex 1... a mandate that all gates remain closed and locked at all times... an additional gate in the area... increased amounts of razor wire and erecting more lights. TED SAKAI: "I WANT TO ASSURE THE PUBLIC THAT WE TAKE THIS OF COURSE VERY, VERY SERIOUSLY AND WE'VE MADE SEVERAL IMPROVEMENTS AT OCCC IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA." Sakai ordered a review of fence lines at all jails and prisons and wants to add sensors and additional cameras to OCCC. That would take $200-thousand dollars, money the department doesn't have but will request from lawmakers. The corrections officer or officers under investigation by DPS for those missed head counts don't face criminal charges, but could possibly lose their jobs.