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Pitchess Inmate Throws Himself Under Bus, Plan Backfires

khts_crimeAn inmate enroute to court to face robbery charges threw himself under the bus Tuesday and ensured his place on the county’s extended stay list.

Around 4:30 a.m., deputies assigned to the Sheriff’s Court Services Transportation Bureau were preparing inmates at the Pitchess Detection Center- North County Correctional Facility for court.

Dozens of inmates were handcuffed together and led into a secure, walled-in bus sally-port area where the transportation bus is parked while the inmates are escorted onto the bus.


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The deputies suddenly noticed that only three inmates were handcuffed together where once there had been four. A search of the area quickly turned up inmate Gamaliel Martinez, clinging to the undercarriage of the sheriff’s transportation bus. Martinez had removed his blue jail shirt and was wearing a white t-shirt.

Martinez admitted he had formed a hasty plan to escape by slipping out of his handcuffs and hiding under the bus. A jail-made object possibly used to open the handcuffs was found nearby.

He was returned to the maximum security jail facility where he will remain pending formal charges being filed with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for attempted escape. His security level was raised as a result.

Martinez is currently serving a three year sentence for robbery at Wasco State Prison and has been in the custody of the county jail of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department under a court-ordered retention since July 18. He was scheduled for a court hearing Tuesday morning where he is facing additional robbery charges.