Escaped inmate left behind dangling sheet, bloody clothes after jailbreak

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WHDH) — Escaped inmate James Morales left behind a dangling sheet, bloody handprints and a stained prison uniform when he broke out of the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, on New Year’s Eve.

A police report obtained by 7News indicated that Morales, an accused rapist, was last accounted for around 3 p.m. that afternoon. He was left alone in the jail’s recreation yard for more than two hours.

Surveillance cameras at Wyatt captured the 35-year-old using a basketball hoop to climb onto fencing above the yard at 6:23 p.m. According to the report, Morales stayed there as guards at Wyatt did a routine perimeter search at 6:27 p.m and 6:40 p.m.

Seven minutes later, Morales used the sheet to shimmy down the side of the building by the main entrance, dropping 15 feet down to the ground.

Officers from the Central Falls Police Department responded to the jail at 11:43 p.m., more than an hour after guards first noticed Morales was missing and started doing head counts.

By the time officers began searching for Morales, he was 40 miles away in Framingham.

It would be five days before Morales surfaced again Thursday morning, after police said he attempted to rob a bank in Cambridge and then tried to rob a bank in Somerville Thursday afternoon.

A Massachusetts state trooper arrested Morales and he is now in federal custody.

The police chief in Central Falls says he is “deeply troubled” by the escape of a prisoner at the city’s privately run detention center.

James Morales escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility on New Year’s Eve and was captured Thursday. In a city council meeting on Monday, council members grilled Col. James Mendonca on why police did not alert residents.

Mendonca told them it was because it took hours for corrections officers to discover he was gone, and then another hour and 13 minutes to alert authorities.

He says by the time police found out, it was clear Morales was already in Massachusetts and there was no imminent danger in Central Falls.

Mendonca says the prison should have notified police of the escape much sooner.

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