Prisoner's bid to escape using buddy's name foiled at jail

April 14, 1991|By Arthur Hirsch

Two City Jail inmates were being held without bail yesterda after their botched attempt to switch places so that one could escape.

The two Baltimore men -- Robert Teal and James Ray -- are friends, both 20 years old, look somewhat alike and were brought into the jail around the same time, according to a report filed by Capt. Samuel Hawkins of the jail staff.

Captain Hawkins reported that "somehow, the photographs on the paperwork had been switched," said Baltimore police Sgt. John Bevilacqua, reading the Hawkins account of Friday evening's escape attempt. The captain's report did not elaborate, and neither he nor a jail spokesman could be reached yesterday.

Mr. Teal, of Myrtle Avenue, was being held on a firearms violation and was to have been released on $7,000 bail Friday evening. Mr. Ray, of Shirley Avenue, had been held on $63,000 bail awaiting trial on four charges of robbery with a deadly weapon, battery and other weapons charges.

While a man claiming to be Mr. Teal was gathering his belongings to leave shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, a jail officer noted that he had just escorted Robert Teal to the visiting room. Mr. Ray, claiming to be Mr. Teal, was stopped before he left.

Bail was revoked for both men, according to Captain Hawkins' report. No new charges had been filed against them last night.

Captain Hawkins did not name the jail officer who took Mr. Teal to meet a visitor, nor did he explain the confusion over their photographs and documents.

The near-escape was the latest in a series of incidents at the City Jail spotlighting security problems. In the final weeks of 1990 and early this year, inmates escaped by sawing through bars, hiding in trash trucks and climbing down bedsheets.

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