Escapee was Classified as Low Risk

News Three has been asked why Rafael Zamarron Cruz, 64, was on work detail Tuesday, when he escaped and led authorities on an eight hour manhunt.

We asked that question and the Brazos County Sheriff's Department tells us Cruz was a low risk inmate.

Cruz had served on work detail since early February. He qualified for the duty, because he only had minor, mainly alcohol related offenses. Officials say his age made him less of a flight risk and he was considered a stable person.

Brazos County classifies all of its inmates as low, medium or high risk. Sheriff Officials say only low risk inmates are allowed to serve on Brazos County's six details that work daily. On all work details, there is one officer per six inmates. Inmate classifications are checked every 75 days.

Brazos County says it will review its policy after Tuesday's escape.

Cruz was awaiting transfer to TDCJ for a DWI conviction. Officials with the Brazos County Sheriff's Department tell us the Mexico native was legally living in the United States.

Cruz has been in the Brazos County Jail 14 times since 1986 according to the Brazos County Judicial Website. On April 30, Cruz had been sentenced to five years in prison for driving while intoxicated for a third time or more. He was also sentenced to five years for revocation of his probation on a prior DWI charge.

Brazos County Sheriff's officials say Cruz has been charged with the escape.


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