JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – A woman who was released from a jail in Colorado last month ended up back behind bars after an apparent “escape attempt” from the women’s bathroom at the facility.
The incident occurred Nov. 21, when Jessica Leger used the women’s bathroom in the lobby at the Jefferson County Jail after being released from custody.
The 29-year-old reportedly locked herself in the bathroom and yelled “get me out of here,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by FOX31.
Deputies attempted to get the door open as the woman yelled for them to call family members. Moreover, during the process they overheard Leger saying she was having a psychotic episode, according to court documents obtained by FOX31.
Surveillance video from the jail shows Leger dropping from the ceiling into the lobby. Afterward she is seen running to a corner of the room as a deputy runs out and takes her into custody.
According to officials, Leger removed a paper towel dispenser from the wall above a toilet in the restroom. Her next act was to apparently squirm her way into the wall and made her way to the ceiling.
Leger was booked on criminal mischief and ended up spending two more nights in jail until she was released on a her own recognizance Nov. 23, FOX31 reported.
Court records obtained by the television station suggest Leger caused $400 in damage to the bathroom. As a result, she is due in court Jan 17.
A spokesperson from the Jefferson County district attorney’s office said that it’s premature to conclude that Leger was suffering from mental illness at the time of the incident. They told the news agency that her defense lawyer would be allowed to seek a mental health evaluation to ensure she is competent to face trial.
Andrew Romanoff, the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, told FOX31 that 55 percent of inmates in state prison and 65 percent of inmates in county jails are thought to have some kind of mental health or substance abuse disorder. Furthermore, he declined comment on the Leger case specifically, but said in general, the situation statewide “breaks my heart.”
“There are too many people in Colorado with mental illness who aren’t getting the care they need, turning our jails and prisons into warehouses for folks with mental illness is the most expensive and least therapeutic decision we could make,” he told FOX31. “You shouldn’t have to be charged, you shouldn’t have to be incarcerated in order to get care.”