Cook County Jail inmate switched identities with man set to be released, escaped wearing face mask
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Authorities say an inmate escaped from the Cook County Jail in Chicago over the weekend by disguising himself as another detainee about to be discharged, leaving the facility in a face mask.

Jahquez Scott, 21, allegedly promised to pay fellow inmate Quintin Henderson $1,000 in exchange for use of his identity, Cook County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said in a statement obtained by The Chicago Sun Times.

Scott allegedly studied 28-year-old Henderson’s personal information and traded a sweatshirt with another inmate for his disguise. He waited in the discharge tunnel of the Southwest Side jail on Saturday evening and stepped forward when corrections officers called Henderson’s name, according to the statement.

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While wearing a face mask, Scott falsely signed Henderson’s release papers and left the jail.

After Scott had made his escape, Henderson told staff that he had fallen asleep and asked if his name had been called, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Murphy said at Henderson's bail hearing. 

Officers signed an emergency arrest warrant for Scott, who had been arrested the day before on a weapons charge while on parole for battery of an officer, Murphy said.

Henderson, who was about to be released on his own recognizance in a drug case, is now being held on $25,000 on charges of aiding and abetting the escape of a felon.

During his hearing, Judge Mary Marubio said “the nature of the offenses isn’t merely the aiding and abetting, it’s who you aided and abetted. And that’s weighing heavily against you.”

An internal investigation into the escape has been opened by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information about Scott’s whereabouts is asked to call 773-674-8477.

The Cook County Jail in Chicago, which houses more than 4,000 people, has become one of the largest known coronavirus hot spots.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 500 inmates, 104 correctional officers and 30 sheriff’s employees have tested positive for coronavirus. Six detainees and one guard have died.