Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson issued a report on Wednesday detailing what happened in the escape from the jail on July 12, 2012. Jeremy Mask, 25, made it out of the jail in Waterloo by using an emergency escape tower door that was left open during a jail construction project. Officers captured Mask within 18 hours after a series of stolen vehicles, an alleged robbery of a pharmacy in Toledo and a police pursuit.
The sheriff’s report said a housing unit worker at the jail was aware construction workers had an internal fire door propped open but allow prisoners out of their cells into a dayroom anyway. The sheriff said one change is to make sure prisoners are not allowed out of individual cells when any substantial security or maintenance work is going on in the common jail areas.
The sheriff said the inmate who escaped apparently convinced a master control technician, via intercom, that he was connected with building maintenance. That technician then released the lock on the ground floor exit door from the fire tower letting the prisoner outside.
The sheriff said those jail staffers found at fault for violating procedures were given discipline ranging from unpaid suspensions to termination. The sheriff would not release any more details about discipline because it is a personnel matter.