Skip to main content

See also:

Visitor trapped in jail: Visitor trapped, spends a day locked up in Chicago jail

In the classic game of Monopoly, if you landed in the “jail” corner, you were “just visiting,” as the space implied. With the next roll of the die, you were gone. But for one man, his jail visit turned into an overnight stay when a door closed behind him and locked. Trapped for over thirty hours in a Chicago maximum security prison, this poor chap stayed longer than some violent offenders who post bail.

Writes the Huffington Post: “The man, who has not been identified, was told to walk down a hall and turn right when he visited the Cook County Jail on Saturday evening. He followed the directions, which led to a door that had been propped open, but it was the wrong room. This room was for visiting maximum security prisoners, and it was under renovation.”

Cara Smith, executive director of the jail, said the man, who was at the prison to visit his son, “went into that room through two steel doors, both of which shut behind him and he was locked in.”

Inside of the room, which was labeled “visitor vestibule” from the outside, there were partitions and seats for visitors, so the man assumed his boy would be led out and the two could chat. After a few hours went by however, he “realized he was in the wrong room,” Smith said.

Locked in, the man started to bang on the steel doors and concrete walls, but no one heard him.

“There’s about two feet of cement and two steel doors between him and the outside,” Smith said.

Apparently, no one noticed that a visitor, who had logged in, never logged out. That seems to be an anomaly on the books that a maximum security prison would not overlook. But miss it they did, and eventually the man tried something that worked – he busted off a sprinkler head in the room, which, in addition to getting the trapped man soaked, caused the fire alarm to go off.

“It was raining in the room when we got there,” said Larry Langford, a spokesperson for the Chicago Fire Department. The man was finally freed at about 1:30 a.m. on Monday of this week after arriving Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.

“Brilliantly, he broke the sprinkler head off which alerted the fire department so they were able to identify where it was coming from and they went in and found him,” Smith explained. “We’re been looking at how and why and what went wrong. Multiple things obviously failed including a contractor leaving a door open while they did work in our jail. It was a perfect storm of circumstances that led to this horrible incident.”