County inmates break out of cells, tactical team called to jail

OKLAHOMA CITY — A tactical team was called to the Oklahoma County jail Sunday evening after several inmates were able to get out of their cells, officials confirm.

Mark Opgrande with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said the situation unfolded around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. According to Opgrande, a detention officer noticed several inmates at a pod area on the 12th floor. The inmates advanced toward the officer before he deployed a JPX weapon to mitigate the situation.

Opgrande told News 4 the weapon looks like a paintball gun, shooting pepper balls.

“Several more inmates were also able to rig out of their cells, a lot of people came out in the pod area,” he said. “They tore down the sprinkler head system, tore down some of the drop down ceilings. Broke all of the cameras, surveillance cameras that we have in there. It was at that moment that we decided to call the tactical team.”

Once the tactical team was able to get on the 12th floor, the inmates either went back to their cells or surrendered on the floor.

“After that, we started going cell to cell to try to maybe look for, if any, contraband in there. Any shanks, any knives, anything that might have been left behind,” Opgrande said. “I saw them pull out 30 plus inmates being taken out of that pod area. These are inmates that wear stripes, black and white stripes. These are the inmates that don’t play well with others, so to speak.”

According to Opgrande, the jail has been dealing with the issue of inmates being able to rig out of their cells ever since the facility was built due to the way the locks are designed.

“They’re able to manipulate them in a way, in many cases, in order to just pop open the cell door and just come out,” he explained.

No staff members were injured Sunday. One inmate was taken to the hospital for precaution after possibly being hurt by another inmate. We are told the injuries are not life threatening.