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Inmate attempts escape from jail ward at San Francisco General Hospital

SF Sheriff reflects on increased violence of county jails and the 1906 earthquake
SF Sheriff reflects on increased violence of county jails and the 1906 earthquake 04:07

A prisoner left his cell at the jail ward at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Tuesday morning before being located shortly after, authorities said.

According to the San Francisco Sheriff's Office, at 9:45 a.m. staffers at the hospital discovered that an inmate was not in his cell where deputies had checked on him minutes prior.   

The San Francisco Standard reported the inmate climbed up through a ceiling on the seventh-floor jail ward.

"Based on the quick actions of the deputies assigned to this unit, they were able to thwart any possible escape by immediately locating the suspect within a secure area of the facility, where he eventually surrendered peacefully," said a statement from the Sheriff's Office. "At 10:21 am deputies detained the suspect unharmed and with no injuries to any staff. The incarcerated person did not escape custody at any time."   

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital And Trauma Center in San Francisco, California. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It was not clear where at the hospital the inmate was found.

The incident comes days after complaints from sheriff's deputies about staffing issues. On April 13, the deputies' union demanded assistance Saturday from the California National Guard to solve what it characterized as a critical staffing shortage in the San Francisco County jails.

The demand, contained in a letter to Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, Mayor London Breed and Board of Supervisors president Aaron Peskin, cited an increase in prisoner violence resulting in injuries to deputies and jail staff.

Miyamoto says the recent spike in violence at county jails in San Francisco and San Bruno can be attributed to overcrowded conditions.

"We don't feel that this is an exigent circumstance that would require that at this time," Miyamoto said last week. "The recent uptick in the assaults on our staff is something I believe we can handle internally,"  

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