HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut prison officials say an inmate who escaped from a medium security prison this weekend has a tattoo on his neck that reads, “Time Waits For No One.”
Jerry Mercado, 25, of Hartford, did not wait to finish serving the final year of his three-year sentence on a burglary conviction, authorities said.
Mercado may have stowed away in the undercarriage of a garbage truck or state vehicle to make his escape from the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution, Scott Semple, the commissioner of the state Department of Correction said Monday.
“There are vehicles on the grounds of the facility that were doing routine work and there’s also another vehicle to provide garbage collection,” he said. “We are in the midst of evaluating that now.”
Mercado was reported missing at about 3 p.m. Sunday after a routine count of the more than 1,400 inmates at the dormitory-style prison in Enfield, about 21 miles north of Hartford.
Semple said the department does not believe anyone from outside the prison assisted Mercado in the escape, but that remained part of the investigation.
“We have a fairly good idea of the circumstances, we just need to validate the information we have at hand,” he said.
Semple said the department and state police also have begun a review of all security protocols at state prisons.
“Although our investigation is very much in its infancy, we acknowledge vulnerabilities that have been identified within our security practices,” Semple said.
Mercado is classified as a low-risk offender. He was sentenced in August 2016 to three years for burglary and had a released date of Jan. 9, 2019. He also has convictions for interfering with a police officer, theft of a firearm, and failure to appear in court, according to Judicial Branch records.
In addition to his “Time” tattoo, which is on the right side of his neck, authorities say Mercado also has a tattoo on his left temple.
Authorities said they do not believe Mercado is still in the Enfield area and may have returned to Hartford.
This is the first escape from Carl Robinson since 1992, and the first escape from any Connecticut prison since 2013, officials said. An inmate walked away from the state’s women’s prison in Niantic in April 2013. She was recaptured the same day.
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