Texas inmate gets taste of freedom


STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

An inmate in the Sansom Park Jail thought he caught a lucky break Monday when an officer didn't secure his cell door.

Turns out, he wasn't so lucky after all.

Before Monday, Reynaldo Rodriguez was being held on a handful of Sansom Park traffic tickets, as well as charges of driving while intoxicated and assault out of another county. Now he's facing a slew of more serious charges.

After all, police said, Rodriguez stole a cop car.

Then he struck a pole and mailbox with it, they said.

"I figure he tore the transmission up, too," Sansom Park Police Chief Tony White said.

White said Sansom Park's small holding facility at 5500 Buchanan St. has three cells that can each hold three prisoners. Other area agencies house their prisoners there, he said.

On Monday afternoon, a Lakeside police officer released two prisoners from a cell but didn't secure the door afterward, White said.

That's when Rodriguez, 25, made his move.

White said a firefighter saw Rodriguez run out the back door and jump a fence. The firefighter immediately alerted officials and, a short time later, a Sansom Park police officer spotted Rodriguez.

The officer jumped out of his vehicle and gave chase but tripped, dislocating his right shoulder, White said.

"The subject then jumped in the patrol car and took off," White said.

Along the way, Rodriguez ran over rocks and small trees. He also hit a pole and a mailbox with the officer's vehicle, White said.

White said he and his sergeant began to pursue Rodriguez in an unmarked vehicle until they lost sight of him.

At that point, White said, officials pulled the book-in sheet for a relative of Rodriguez's who was also being held at the jail. An officer went to the address listed on her documents and talked to an aunt.

The aunt told officers that Rodriguez "had just called and asked her to pick him up at 30th and Macie streets" in Fort Worth, White said.

Fort Worth officers were waiting for Rodriguez when he showed up, White said.

White said the officer with the shoulder injury was treated at a hospital and released.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, is back behind bars. White said he didn't know what additional charges Rodriguez will face, but they could be numerous.

"We have him, he's back in custody in our jail," White said.

 Fort Worth Star Telegram (http://www.star-telegram.com/)

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