Sheriff’s office: Prisoners safe at county jail

GALVESTON — Officials with the Galveston County Sheriffs Office fielded calls Friday from relatives of prisoners, who weren’t evacuated from Galveston ahead of Hurricane Ike’s anticipated landfall.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo, citing security concerns, declined to discuss plans for the jail, which holds roughly 1,300 prisoners. “The inmates are safe, sound, and the jail is high and dry,” Tuttoilmondo said.

Dorothy Nuzzo said her son David Pain called her at 3:15 p.m., using a calling card.

“I heard this morning they were supposed to evacuate around noon,” Nuzzo said. “He said, ‘Mom. I’m worried, scared and hungry. All of us are here cramped into this little room on the first floor. The flood waters are rising and we’re not going to evacuate.’”

Nuzzo said her son didn’t see water in the jail, but heard it was rising on the island.

“I called but they’re not answering the phones. It’s ludicrous they left the inmates there.”

Tuttoilmondo said the jail is primarily one level. Its phones were ringing all day, including a call from a state representative.

“The jail is fine and in good shape,” Tuttoilmondo said. “We have plenty of staff on board, food and medical facilities. We have everything we need and everybody’s being cared for. No problems.”



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