tampabay.com

Up, up and ... not away from jail

An inmate at the Land O'Lakes jail tries to escape through the ceiling. He doesn't get far.

By GINA PACE
Published April 27, 2007


LAND O'LAKES - Filip Paszkowski came out of the bathroom Wednesday and found the conference room at the Land O'Lakes jail empty. That, he later told a sheriff's deputy, was when he had his "dumb mental moment."

In that moment, according to a sheriff's report, Paszkowski, 22, hatched a plan to escape by removing the ceiling tiles, hoisting himself into the ceiling and crawling, well, wherever he could.

Only problem: Once he got up there, there was nowhere to go. The sheriff's report says he "met with negative results in each direction."

In the meantime, a head count revealed Paszkowski was missing from the group of inmates who had gone to the conference room to make a video appearance before a judge.

A deputy returned to the conference room to find Paszkowski's head poking out from the behind the podium, broken ceiling tiles scattered around and white dust from the tiles on the inmate's back.

"I was actually trying to escape, but I didn't actually do it," Paszkowski said, according to the report. "That must mean something, right?"

Paszkowski told deputies he had soon realized how stupid his attempt was and decided that he'd just wait in the conference room until a guard came back for him. Meanwhile, he called his mom "to tell her how sorry I was and that I loved her."

Paszkowski's mom couldn't have been pleased. He was arrested earlier this month on a laundry list of charges including armed burglary, grand theft and carrying a concealed firearm. Trying to skip out of jail earned him two more charges: attempt to escape and criminal mischief.

Paszkowski remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Gina Pace can be reached at 352 521-6518 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6518. Her e-mail address is gpace@sptimes.com.