Roosevelt County Jail to get repairs

Posted at: 12/31/2013 6:40 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Roosevelt County Jail is preparing for some changes in 2014.  This is the jail where five inmates escaped this year by crawling out the roof.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 showed you earlier this year just how easy it was for five inmates to break out of jail in Portales.

"They were just standing over there.  Well I saw two men at that time but I didn't know they were inmates or anything had happened because I had just came home," said Consuelo Florez.

Florez said she saw them when she was driving home from a softball game.

“And then the next thing you know there was cops across the street and the ambulance was taking a man on the stretcher then afterwards we realized that those were the two escapees," said Florez.

Roosevelt County jail officials said the inmates used a metal piece from the bunk bed to carve a hole in the roof then jumped off.

Once their feet hit the ground, two of the inmates ran straight for a neighborhood across the street.  One woman said she found an inmate sitting in her car.

“I gave him a chair to sit down because he had hurt his ankle and he was in major pain," said Jeannie Ornealas.

Ornealas found inmate Stephen Phillips.  He broke his foot jumping off the roof.  She called police and made him something to eat.

“I had an inmate on my porch, and I gave him a sandwich to calm his pain down," said Ornealas.

Ornealas said she’s glad this inmate wasn’t dangerous, but doesn’t want it to happen again, and the jail doesn’t either.

In mid-January, they’re getting new bunk beds that officials said can’t be torn apart and a razor wire fence for the roof.

“I think it's great that they're doing that," said Florez.

All of the escaped inmates were eventually captured.