Light fixture allegedly used in escape goes under spotlight

The light fixture that 17-year-old Josue Rual Orozco grappled to hoist himself over a juvenile detention center wall and escape last week was the only light in the courtyard of the facility installed at a 12-foot height.

Every other halogen light at the Youth Services Center was installed at 15 feet, Chief Probation Officer Loren Buddress said.

What’s not clear yet is whether the lamp was installed lower by design or whether it was a construction error when the 2006 facility was built.

“The light was set lower than it should have been,” he said.

Wally MacMillan, an architect with KMD Justice, the firm that designed the center, said he was not at liberty to discuss any part of the design.

Calls to the construction firm that built the facility, Turner Construction Co., were not returned Thursday.

Two inmates are accused of aiding in the escape of Orozco, who reportedly received a boost from the two and then used the light as a grappling mount to climb over the 15-foot wall last Thursday night. Orozco was then able to jump to the ground and climb through a hole that had already been cut in a fence, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

The Probation Department has launched an internal investigation into what went wrong at the facility, which should answer the question of why the lamp was lower than it should have been, Buddress said. He said the investigation should wrap up by early next week, andwill likely be presented to the county’s Board of Supervisors in their meeting Tuesday.

kworth@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

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

A server greets diners in a Shared Spaces outdoor dining area outside Napper Tandy’s Irish pub at 24th Street and South Van Ness Avenue in the Mission District on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. San Francisco could choose to resume outdoor dining in the wake of a state decision to lift a regional stay-at-home order. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Regional coronavirus stay-at-home orders lifted as ICU capacity improves

Change in rules could allow outdoor dining to resume in San Francisco

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves into West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Most Read