Bakersfield, CA - Inmate Slipped Handcuffs - Steals Prisoner Van With Other Inmates - Crashes Gates - Crashes Into Deputies In Personal Vehicles, Blocking Him - Deputies And Inmate Injured

March 2, 2016

An inmate was arrested Wednesday after he stole a transport van carrying six other inmates from a detention facility in Bakersfield, rammed through a jail gate and slammed into a truck holding three deputies, authorities said.

Ramon Castro, 23, was one of seven inmates who were preparing to board the van about 7:30 a.m. at the Lerdo Pre-Trial Facility before heading to court in Delano, said Ray Pruitt, a spokesman of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

The six other inmates were inside the van when Castro, who was the last to be loaded, slipped out of his handcuffs and made a dash toward the driver’s seat, he said.

Castro hopped into the driver’s seat and locked the doors as a deputy tried to coax him out, Pruitt said. As the deputy stood in front of the van, Castro accelerated and drove toward the facility’s gates.

The deputy was able to jump out of the van’s path. But the jail gates weren’t so lucky.

Castro drove through the facility’s locked gates, triggering an alarm notifying deputies in the area of the jailbreak, Pruitt said.

Three deputies, who were standing near their personal vehicles, heard the alarms. Fearing the inmate would escape, they entered a deputy’s personal truck, drove and parked near the main gate.

That’s when the inmate came barreling toward the gate and crashed into the truck carrying the deputies, Pruitt said.

The force of the crash disabled the van. With their guns drawn, the deputies ordered Castro to exit the van, but he refused, the sheriff’s spokesman said.
Deputies, he said, then used force to remove Castro from the van.

The deputies and inmates complained of pain and suffered minor injuries, Pruitt said.

Castro, a Delano resident, was being held on resisting arrest, but he will now face additional charges, Pruitt said. He was arrested on suspicion of felony escape and assault with a deadly weapon.