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

Caltrain’s future in jeopardy after supervisors block sales tax measure

Roughly 90 minutes into Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting, local… Continue reading

Feds target donations from city contractors with new subpoena in Nuru scandal

Federal authorities have homed in on an apparent trail of donations from… Continue reading

Police union opposes proposal to hang ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters at stations

SFPOA criticizes plan for injecting ‘political agendas and wedge issues’ into policing

Twitter blocks verified accounts from posting after hack hits high-profile users

After the Twitter accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West and… Continue reading

School board backs continued distance learning for fall

After a lengthy discussion Tuesday, the Board of Education is backing plans… Continue reading

Most Read