Another inmate escapes from Miami jail


Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 at 11:50 p.m.
MIAMI - An inmate apparently scaled at least one razor-wire fence and escaped Tuesday from the same jail complex where an accused serial rapist used tied-up bed sheets to flee last month, police said.
Rodney T. Buckles, 25, was being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge when he didn't return to his cell after moving linens to or from a truck, chief police spokeswoman Linda O'Brien said. It was unclear if he was injured, although blood was found on a gate nearby.
Officers roamed the area trying to find Buckles, who was arrested Dec. 23 and has previously been convicted of battery and drug possession charges. He was considered armed and dangerous, although police had no specific information about his getting a weapon.
Three corrections officers were relieved of duty after officials determined they didn't follow jail procedures properly, County Manager George Burgess told reporters. They will likely by fired, he said, and investigators were trying to determine whether they would be charged.
Buckles was reported missing around 7:30 a.m. when officers were doing a head count of inmates who were being brought to make court appearances, O'Brien said.
Burgess and Charles McRay, director of the Miami-Dade Corrections Department, said a review was under way to determine how the escapes happened and to create tighter security to prevent further breakouts.
On Dec. 20, Reynaldo E. Rapalo fled the main jail building by prying open a ceiling vent, cutting through bars and rappelling down the side of the building using the sheets, police said.
He was recaptured six days later after a tipster called with a description of the fugitive outside a video store in southwest Miami.
Rapalo, 34, was awaiting a February trial on felony counts of sexual battery and other charges that could have sent him to prison for life when he escaped. He is accused of sexually assaulting seven women and girls, ranging from ages 11 to 79.
Two corrections officers were placed on administrative leave following the escape, but officials said they were not involved in the breakout.
McRay said then that his agency was "taking steps to make sure nothing like this happens again." He also ordered all vents at the Knight jail welded shut and that lighting be improved.

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