FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 20 (UPI) — Just five days after a prisoner escaped from a South Florida courthouse, another inmate at the courthouse was found with a handcuff key.
A detention deputy had lost his key from a shirt pocket as he assisted a wheelchair-bound inmate in a Broward County courthouse holding area around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
An inmate, identified as Keenan Renois, 18, found the key and put it in his pants pocket. Officials said another inmate told deputies that Renois had the missing key. Renois, who is in jail on molestation, grand theft and burglary charges, and had been brought to the courthouse for a hearing.
Upon questioning, Renois retrieved the missing handcuff key and handed it over to deputies.
This is the same courthouse in Fort Lauderdale where Dayonte Resiles, 21, escaped Friday morning. A manhunt is ongoing and four accomplices were arrested last weekend.
The key incident occurred just one day after the sheriff announced tighter security of maximum-security jail prisoners. Renois didn’t have that designation.
“Command will take appropriate action on the deputy for not properly securing the key,” said Keyla Concepcion, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said.
The deputy who lost the key was identified as Eric Adams, 48. He had noticed the key was missing, prompting a search of all the inmates in the holding cell.
Renois said he found the key on the floor. “He stated he was not going to do anything with it,” the sheriff’s office report said. “Note: At no point did inmate Renois approach any staff member to inform that he had found the key.”
The escaped inmate, who is facing the death penalty in a 2014 murder case, was in court for a hearing when he left the jury box, where he had been sitting. He shed his leg irons and waist chain, went past an unarmed bailiff, removed his striped jail jumpsuit and handcuffs in the hallway and climbed down a stairwell.
Court records show he was holding the key when he jumped into a getaway car, a silver BMW.
Sheriff Scott Israel, who gave no updates Tuesday, has declined to address how Resiles might have gotten out of his locked restraints. He also didn’t comment on the lost-key incident.
“The fugitive is now considered armed and still loose in the community and poses a threat to lives until his recapture,” state prosecutors wrote in court filings. “This dangerous fugitive is currently a continuing threat to the safety of the community and anyone who comes into contact with him.”