A San Diego lawyer was trapped for hours in a local jail last week after police forgot he was there.
Attorney Erubey Lopez was attempting to meet with a client at the jail, located in downtown San Diego. He was left forgotten and trapped in a locked visiting room for several hours, despite numerous attempts to gain the attention of officers.
According to NBC News, Lopez was taken to the locked room on Tuesday and instructed to wait until officers could escort his client inside.
The lawyer became concerned when 30 minutes passed without the arrival of his client or further interaction from jail personnel.
Lopez attempted to use an intercom located inside the room to call for help, but soon realized that it appeared to be broken. He resorted to shouting and pounding on the room’s locked door as time continued to tick by.
His attempts at communication remained unnoticed until four hours later when a nearby guard finally heard Lopez yelling and opened the door.
The lawyer’s ordeal of being trapped in jail for hours both infuriated and concerned him in regards to the safety of visitors to the jail.
“[What] if I was unhealthy … had a heart attack? What if I had diabetes and had a sugar issue? If they hadn’t heard me with the screaming and banging … there was no other way they were going to hear me.”
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Sheriff’s Commander John Ingrassia confirmed the lawyer’s account on Friday, calling it an “unfortunate incident on our part.”
He contends that clients are typically escorted to the visiting room within 30 minutes. However, a breakdown in communication led to Lopez’s arrival getting lost between alternating officers.
Do you think the jail should be held accountable for the lawyer becoming trapped and forgotten for hours?