Surveillance video captures Los Lunas jail escapee
Posted at: 09/11/2012 10:30 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
After a brief taste of freedom, Zachary Green, the man accused of holding up two Walgreens pharmacies at gunpoint, is back in jail.
Green managed to walk out of his holding cell at the Los Lunas Police Department Monday, according to officers.
There weren't any officers that physically saw Green escape, but surveillance video shows what happened.
In clear view, a man identified as Green, opens the door of his temporary holding cell without hesitation and steps into what appears to be an empty lobby.
Green makes a beeline to a nearby exit but once at the door, he pauses, as if looking out the window, checking to see if anyone is around.
For whatever reason, Green heads back to his cell.
Seconds later, he heads back to the exit door, and continues the back-and-fourth switch three times before he finally escapes.
"That is concerning that this guy could just open the door, walk out and nobody see him," Los Lunas Mayor Robert Vialpando said. "I don't think they would have locked him in there, knowing he could just walk out."
On Monday, Los Lunas police said the lock on the cell malfunctioned.
When the cell door shuts, it is supposed to automatically lock, which did not happen this one time.
U.S. Marshals arrested Green Tuesday afternoon at the Ambassador Inn in Albuquerque.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 asked Mayor Vialpando where he thinks the accountability lies in this situation.
"That's a good question," Vialpando said. "Of course, me as mayor, if something happens it's my accountability so you know, I think Roy, Roy Melnick, will step up to the plate and admit that there was maybe something wrong that was done, and it should never have happened. It did, and we just have to fix it."
Police said they already are in the process of fixing it.
"We're taking steps to replace our locks to make sure we don't run into that issue," LLPD Lt. Naithan Gurule said. "We're also revising our policy, and looking into the matter, making sure there was no policies violated by any of our employees."
Gurule said a locksmith replaced the lock on the holding cell Tuesday afternoon.
Vialpando said he is also looking into the matter.
"I'm going to investigate and find out what's been done so this doesn't ever happen again," Vialpando said. "I'm sure it will never happen again."
Green is being held at the Valencia County Jail.