NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans law enforcers are searching for an inmate, in jail for simple burglary, who escaped early Thursday morning from the sprawling Orleans Parish Prison complex in Mid-City.
According to a spokesman for Sheriff Marlin Gusman, 43-year-old Rubin Martin broke out of one of the prison tents at the jail's Temporary Housing Center, shortly after 3 a.m. Sources tell 4 Investigates that Martin snuck into a shower, entered a vent and cut his way out. He then hung his prison jumpsuit over razor wire and took off.
Martin's jail break is the third from the same unit in the past few months.
In May, 25-year-old Juan Vazquez escaped from the tents. In August, 53-year old Larry Ard also cut his way out.
Majorie Esman from the ACLU accuses Sheriff Gusman of bad management. She says the prison escapes are just a symptom of a larger problem at the jail.
"It's very clear that he's not doing the job. If you've got three escapes from the same part of the prison, then something's wrong. He needs to beef up security right there where he knows there's a problem," said Esman.
The prison tents were built in 2006 as a short-term solution to housing inmates in a prison complex wrecked by Hurricane Katrina. According to the sheriff, the tents will be phased out in 2014 when a new permanent jail facility opens.
Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche said the tents had a life span of only two to three years.
"In an ideal environment, we'd have the prisons that were supposed to be constructed post-Katrina. We'd have them operational. We don't and the reality the new facility that's under construction right now isn't going to come on line until the spring of 2014," said Goyeneche.
Police continue to search for Rubin Martin.
He is described as 6 foot, 2 inches tall and 180 pounds.
If you've seen Martin or know where he is call the Orleans Parish Sheriff's office at 504-827-8505.