A new video has surfaced that shows how three inmates escaped from a California maximum security prison in January 2016.
An attorney who is connected to the case gave NBC Los Angeles a 15-minute video showing the details of how the inmates escaped the Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana and their week on the run.
The video, filmed on a contraband cell phone, is narrated by 37-year-old escapee Hossein Nayeri, who explains the escape process and tells the story of their time on the lam. Nayeri recorded the voiceover after the three had been recaptured, telling his side of the story.
It is heavily edited and includes clips from news organizations covering the inmates’ jail break, their version of how events took place, and pop music set as the background to their footage of their prison escape and time on the run.
The news station that obtained the footage removed the music over copyright concerns and blurred the faces of everyone except the three inmates.
After the video goes through several news clips, it shows footage inside Module F, the maximum security dorm room that housed the three men.
“My name is Adam Hossein Nayeri,” Nayeri says in the video voiceover. “You know, a lot of people like to credit us with some Houdini escape act all in eight minutes flat. It’s an interesting myth.”
“In reality, we did leave that mod after count. Not the one they’re claiming, though. I left that module at least eight hours earlier the night before,” Nayeri continues.
Nayeri’s version of events differs from the officers’ version of the story, which claims that the inmates escaped the facility at 5 a.m. January 22, 2016, the New York Daily News reports. According to Nayeri’s account, the inmates escaped hours earlier.
The escape itself begins about four-and-a-half minutes into the video, when Nayeri lifts up a sawed-off bunk bed leg to show a cut metal screen that he crawls through. Fellow inmates Bac Duong and Jonathan Tieu join him shortly after to climb the plumbing shafts in the jail’s walls to the roof, using bed sheets.
Nayeri gives a thumbs-up to the camera before they climb the shafts. Eventually, the Santa Ana skyline comes into view as they reach the roof.
The video does not show how they manage to get down from the jail’s roof.
The footage then cuts to the inmates posing by a street sign in San Francisco and then inside a white van, where they sleep.
The inmates make it to San Francisco after allegedly kidnapping and forcing taxi driver Long Ma to drive them northbound towards San Francisco, the Daily Mail reports.
One of the inmates holds up a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey and a pipe of marijuana.
“Friday night in San Francisco, a special Friday night in San Francisco,” Nayeri says.
Hours later, two of the inmates are arrested after someone notifies police near the Golden Gate Bridge. Duong left with Ma earlier to surrender himself to authorities.
The video ends with Nayeri expressing regret for his actions.
“We scared a lot of people and caused a lot of anxiety and fear,” Nayeri says at the end of the clip. “I can’t say I feel good about that. I can’t.”
A spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department says the newly released video is part of an ongoing investigation into the jailbreak and declined to comment further.