YUMA, Ariz. (KSWT News 13) - The City of Yuma has finally released new details on the prisoner who escaped from the custody of Yuma City Court Officers on January 22.
City officials held a press conference this morning at the Municipal Court where they explained how Raul Dominguez, an illegal immigrant charged with assaulting an officer, was able to escape from a secure area through a door that had been broken for the last six months.
They tell KSWT News 13 they are enforcing new procedures to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"We do know that the critical point of when the escape happened was in the area, secure area, where the van goes to load prisoners and up to this facility, we can say that that's where the issue occurred," said City of Yuma Public Affairs Coordinator Dave Nash.
Yuma City officials say they don't know why it took so long to get the broken door fixed in a high surveillance facility where prisoners are transported to and from jail by city officers.
City officials did not say how Dominguez managed to break away from the group of 10 prisoners without being detected by court officers.
But they say Dominguez hid under a transport van inside the sally port before exiting through the broken door.
As far as the changes being placed so that this won't happen again, Municipal court will no longer transport prisoners with a felony pending, those who have resisted arrest, or those with an immigration hold.
They will also reduce the number of prisoners transported at any single time from 10 to five.
City officials say they are reviewing policies and procedures on how prisoners are transported to and from jail, but did not provide any specific details.
As for the criminal investigation, police say there is no indication it was an inside job.
However, many unanswered questions remain about what happened after Dominguez escaped from court and was able to evade multiple law enforcement agencies.
"We don't have any confirmed information in regards to what he did, where he went, and how he got changed and all that information," said Sgt. Worthen.
Police say it is still a possibility Dominguez fled to Mexico. They continue working with Mexican authorities to find him.
As for court security, city officials want to assure the public that these new guidelines will prevent prisoners from escaping again.
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