WAILUKU >> An inmate who escaped from the Maui Community Correctional Center last month said prison guards were sleeping when he and another inmate kicked in a door and ran outside.
Barret “BJ” Paman, 31, detailed to police how he and 30-year-old Troy Diego escaped from the dormitory for community and minimum-custody inmates on the morning of April 14, The Maui News reported Friday.
Paman waived his constitutional rights and spoke to police later that day, shortly after turning himself in at the Wailuku Police Station. Paman’s attorney, John Parker, was present during the interview.
“He voluntarily turned himself in as soon as he felt safe,” Parker said.
The attorney said Paman escaped because of fear over jail conditions that led to a riot March 11 in another module.
Paman said that after kicking a termite-eaten door open, he ran back to check if the officers were still sleeping.
“They was still passed out cold, so then we went,” he said.
Paman said the two fled about 1 a.m., according to a clock he looked at near the control room.
Once they were outside, he and Diego climbed a fence to get onto a roof, then ran to the women’s side of the jail, Paman said. He said they went to a fence and put clothes on top of the barbed wire as they climbed over.
The escape was discovered about 2:30 a.m. when staff noticed the broken door, and a head count confirmed the two men were missing, officials said.
Paman said he met Diego in jail and the two planned the escape in one day. No one else was involved, Paman said.
Paman and Diego, who turned himself in April 15, haven’t been charged with the escape, which remains under investigation, authorities said.
“The escape is under administrative as well as criminal investigation, which is normal procedure,” said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz. “There is nothing more we can say about the ongoing investigation at this time.”
Paman was being held at the jail after being arrested on charges of burglary, theft, carrying a firearm on a public highway and keeping a firearm in an improper place.
Diego was being held on charges of theft and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.