Two men escape jail in Virginia with toothbrush


Photo via RawPixel under creative commons license, canva made by Emily Gerdes.

The men broke out of jail using a modified toothbrush.

On Monday, March 20, 2023 two men by the names of John M. Garza and Arley V. Nemo managed to crawl their way out of a Virginia jail. 

The two men had their escape cut short when the police arrested them again the following morning at an IHOP. 37 year old John Garza and 43 year old Arley Nemo are back in custody and new charges against them are pending. 

The two men have been held in a medium-security facility for months facing different charges including contempt of court, probation violations, and failure to appear (Garza) and credit card fraud, forgery, possession of burglary tools, grand larceny and contempt of court (Nemo).

When the men escaped, police urged the public to be on the lookout for them. They credit the spotting to a bystander who was located at the IHOP 10 miles away from the jail. Police said that no one was injured and there were no threats to the public. Police Chief Steve Drew stated “I don’t think that we were dealing with, like, menacing individuals, what we had was two individuals that were able to escape from the jail facility.”

The hole that the men made and escaped with. (Photo via Instagram)

3% of all inmates in jail attempt an escape in their time behind bars, 90% of the time they are caught. The main question is how did these two men do it?

Authorities say the men escaped Monday afternoon, but their absence was first noticed at around 7:15 PM when they weren’t in their cell or anywhere in the facility. “Further investigation determined that the men had tunneled through a cell wall leading to the exterior and proceeded to scale the security wall,” the sheriff’s office said, sharing a photo of a small, round hole in one of the jail’s brick walls.

The men said they found an unspecified “construction design weakness” they broke through with a “primitive made tool made of a  toothbrush and metal object.”

As of now citing security concerns they will not elaborate on the situation until facility-wide structural issues are fixed.