Escape probe gains direction

While the internal investigation into the escape of a murder suspect from San Mateo’s juvenile detention center has proceeded much more slowly than expected, the county’s independent investigation has a new helmsman.

“We’ve found our guy,” County Manager John Maltbie said.

Though the chosen lead investigator won’t be named until contract negotiations are complete, Maltbie described him as a “nationally known expert” who will be “instantly recognizable to those who are in the juvenile justice community.” The investigation is likely to cost about $50,000 and take about 30 days, he said.

The county Board of Supervisors last week authorized the independent investigation into the Feb. 14 escape of 17-year-old Josue Raul Orozco from the Youth Services Center. Orozco, who had been at the facility since it opened in 2006, was awaiting trial on charges that he allegedly killed a 21-year-old member of a rival gang. He escaped over a 15-foot wall and through a hole in an outer fence.

The county’s Probation Office launched its own internal investigation after the escape. At the time, they said the investigation would be complete within a week. That date was later pushed back to Feb. 26, at which point it was delayed for a week.

Chief Probation Officer Loren Buddress said Tuesday that the release is now anticipated for the end of this week or early next week. One reason for the delay, he said, is that investigators have had to sift through hundreds of hours of film from security cameras.

“I’d rather take a little bit of time and do a very comprehensive job than rush something through prematurely and not look at all the elements,” he said.

Supervisor Bill Church, whose district includes the facility, said he hopes the results of both investigations are available soon.

“It’s important that we have the findings and recommendations soon so we can implement the changes we need to,” he said.

kworth@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read