Fire alarms at the Solano County courthouse sent those inside outside when a fire extinguisher was deployed during an inmate's escape attempt.
Fairfield - The Solano County Superior Courthouse in Fairfield was evacuated for about an hour on Monday when an inmate attempted to escape
The inmate, identified as 24-year-old Joseph Michael Schabert, was shackled in a tunnel holding area around 11:30 a.m when he ran from deputies. He ran into a room where he was confronted by three deputies, Solano County sheriff's spokesperson Deputy Darrel Snedeker said. Schabert assaulted the three deputies by deploying the extinguisher in their faces, Snedeker said.
Deputies deployed a Taser to subdue Schabert.
The building's fire/smoke alarm sounded. It was unclear if Schabert pulled the alarm or if the extinguisher set it off.
Those inside the courthouse were evacuated from the building for about an hour.
"For him to get his hands on a fire extinguisher, someone is slacking their job there, " Johnny Carbajal said. Carbajal was among those evacuated.
"They do have limited motion on shackles, hand shackles especially," Snedeker explained. "I believe it's a case of people in custody, they can be desperate at times. It's a desperate guy trying to free himself and maybe he thought he saw an opportunity, which wasn't the case."
The investigation into this incident was continuing and the investigation will include looking into policies and procedures within the jail in an effort to determine whether any changes are necessary, Snedeker said.
The three deputies who confronted Schabert were taken to the hospital for exposure to the fire extinguisher chemicals. They were treated and released. Schabert was also taken to the hospital, Snedeker said.
Snedeker said Schabert was originally arrested by the Vacaville Police Department Feb. 5 and booked into Solano County Jail on a probation violation and failure to appear on a felony drug case. After Monday's incident, Schabert was expected to face additional felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a peace officer, attempted escape from a jail facility, and additional probation violations, according to Snedeker.
Schabert is being held in the Solano County Jail on a no bail status due to his probation violation.