Search continues for San Francisco inmate mistakenly released

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Law enforcement authorities continued their search Friday for a jail inmate who was mistakenly released two days prior.
 
The erroneous premature release of Victor Rodriguez, 20, has been attributed to a clerical error.
 
"Mr. Rodriguez is still at large," said Eileen Hirst, spokesperson for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department. "He has been in touch with us. He actually called us and we gave him everything he needs to know to turn himself in and we're very hopeful that he will."
 
Rodriguez was being held in San Bruno at the county jail, where he was serving a six-month sentence for robbery, battery on an officer and resisting arrest. He had three more months to serve in order to complete his sentence.
 
And Rodriguez encountered more trouble when officers at the jail allegedly overheard him say that he would start carrying an AK-47 in his car so that if he were pulled over by police he could kill them.
 
Two days before his escape, Rodriguez was transferred to County Jail No. 1 in San Francisco, where he would be processed on the new charges arising from that threat.
 
"A deputy who was aware that he was going to court for sentencing on one of the charges, realized that he was not in his jail bed," Hirst said.
 
Officials say a court clerk mistakenly indicated in court paperwork that all charges against Rodriguez, who is an admitted gang member, had been dismissed.
 
"It was human error on the part of a court clerk," Hirst said. "That does not mean there is not something to be learned from it. We will take a look at what happened and see if there's any safeguards that can be put into place that could prevent something like this from happening again." 
 
In a written statement, Superior Court Communications Director Ann Donlan said: "The court is looking into the circumstances surrounding the clerical error. After learning the defendant had been mistakenly released, Judge Jerome T. Benson issued a no-bail bench warrant for the defendant."
 
Said Hirst: "Thankfully this happens very rarely. I really can't remember this happening in the 25 years I've been here and it's very concerning." 
 
by KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty.
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