(WMBD) — It’s been a week since four inmates at the Fulton County Jail broke out of a cell, leading police on a five-day manhunt.
The surrounding community remained on edge as officials searched fields and nearby areas for their whereabouts. By July 11, all four men, Eugene Roets, Jessie Davis, Cody Villalobas, and Zachary Hart had been captured and taken back into custody.
Thursday, two men claiming to be Jessie Davis and Cody Villalobas from the Fulton County Jail called the WMBD-TV/WYZZ newsroom. The two men shared how they say they escaped and why they said they did it.
“If you put people in a cage, and you leave them there all day long and then a chance like that just happens, we didn’t even have time to think about it,” the man who identified as Villalobos said.
The man claiming to be Davis said it all started when a heavy, unbolted table fell and hurt two inmates, one of them being Hart. Davis said he, Villalobas, and Hart were then moved to a different unit where they said there was a deficiency.
“There was a hole in the wall behind the toilet, which led to a catwalk. The catwalk leads to a hatch, the hatch was left open, [the] toilet was not secured to the wall or anything and the basement was the door to the garage that was just opened, unlocked,” said the man who identified as Davis.
They said that is how they got out. Eugene Roets next door tagged along for the journey.
“Why would you put us in a cell block that we’re not even supposed to be in, that when we walk up and touch the toilet, it just falls off the wall. And you just sit there and look out a dark hole and you wonder what in the hell is going on?” asked the man who identified as Villalobas.
The men said they knew each other outside of jail, but they claimed there wasn’t a formal plot when they escaped around 6:30 that night.
“There wasn’t a breakout, just simply moved it to the side and crawled out the hole,” claimed the man who identified as Davis.
“Like kids on an adventure,” the man who identified as Villalobos said.
They said the move was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
“After we already got out, we just—we kind of just—I was like, ‘man, this right here, this is crazy.’ The way it happened, it was just so, I guess, staged,” said the man who identified as Villalobos.
All four men have been recaptured. Villalobas expressed his sympathies. Davis claimed negligence on the part of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re not bad people. Negligence and recklessness on [the Fulton County Jail’s] end. They failed to fix whatever the problem was that allowed us to do whatever we did. That’s point-blank period,” said the man who identified as Davis.
To reiterate, we spoke with two men claiming to be Cody Villalobas and Jessie Davis. The immediate voice recording was that of the Fulton County Jail, and the men were able to verify pertinent details to the pending case.
We did reach out to Fulton County Sheriff Jeff Standard Thursday after receiving those calls. He said he cannot discuss facility security in any way shape or form, but he did say the jail is now “more secure than when it was built.”
We also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get more details from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office denied our request, citing an active investigation.
We’ve since appealed that decision with the state’s attorney, and we are waiting to hear back.