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’.
“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 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.