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Two Virginia Inmates Arrested At IHOP After Digging Hole Through Cell Wall Using Toothbrush, Metal Object To Escape

Two inmates in Virginia were apprehended early the following morning after escaping their jail cells by making a hole through the cell wall with simple tools. John M. Garza, 37, and Arley V. Nemo, 43, were recaptured at a local IHOP diner after citizens spotted them dining there during the night. Newport News Jail Annex officials returned the inmates to custody within hours after their brief escape. The inmates used a toothbrush and a metal object to dig through the brick wall and untie rebars between the construction designs. Upon escaping, Garza and Nemo scaled the jail’s containment wall. According to the sheriff’s office, ongoing criminal and internal investigations are underway to minimize the possibility of such an event in the future.

Garza, from Hampton, was charged with several counts, including failure to appear, probation violations, and contempt of court. Nemo, a Gloucester resident, was detained on charges of larceny, forgery, credit card fraud, contempt of court, possession of burglary tools, and grand larceny. Both Garza and Nemo face charges related to the escape.

The Newport News Sheriff’s Office thanked citizens who reported the escapees at the IHOP location since this led to their rapid capture. Sheriff Gabe Morgan said in a release statement that “see something, say something” is always helpful in keeping the community secure.

Courtesy: Newport News Sheriff’s Office

Authorities were unclear about how the inmates obtained the toothbrush and metal object in their cells.

However, the sheriff’s office stated that since this vulnerability was not limited to the cell of these two inmates, and it occurs throughout the facility; therefore, further clarity would not be shared for security causes.

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