Inmate Escapes Chicago Jail by Wearing Face Mask and Switching Identities With Another Inmate

Medical face masks may lower the risk of contacting the novel coronavirus, but they apparently also make it easy for people to pull a fast one on authorities by faking their identities.

This past weekend, 28-year-old Quintin Henderson was set to be released from the Cook County jail for a narcotics charge, but he instead decided to give his personal information to another inmate, 21-year-old Jahquez Scott, in exchange for a promise of $1,000. As all inmates were required to wear face masks to prevent infection with the SarsCov-2 virus, jail staff say it was easy for Scott to use Henderson’s full name and personal information as his very own ‘get out of jail free card’.

Photo: Jahquez  Scott (left) and Quintin Henderson (right)

“Scott, 21, wearing a mask, then used Henderson’s full name and personal information to pose as Henderson and left custody on Henderson’s I-bond,” the Cook County sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Jail staff learned there was a discrepancy when they did not have Henderson’s paperwork when he provided his information for discharge. An internal investigation is being conducted, and a search is underway for Scott.”

“Jahquez  Scott, who has a record for aggravated battery to a police officer, possession of a controlled substance, and criminal trespass, had a $50,000 bond for an unlawful use of a weapon charge and was ordered to electronic monitoring IF he made bond. For now, he’s roaming the streets a free man thanks in no small part to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for Henderson, instead of leaving jail, he has been of assisting another inmate by allowing Scott to use his identity, and a bond for him has been set at $25,000. According to the sheriff’s office, he was ordered held without bond on charges of violating his bail bond on his original narcotics case. So that $1,000 promise is not likely to materialize anytime soon.

The Cook County Sheriff’s office was ordered by a federal judge to provide face masks for all inmates during the coronavirus pandemic.