Terminated DOC officer was fired before in 2005
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - KUAM News was first to report that two department of corrections officers were terminated last week in connection with a hole found in the perimeter fence of the Mangilao prison. But one of those officers found himself at the Hagatna Lockup this weekend accused of violating the law he once swore to uphold.
A Department of Corrections officer who was terminated on Thursday found himself on the other side of the jail cell this weekend. 31-year-old Aaron Cruz Jessop was picked up by police on Sunday accused of robbing a female tourist on JFK Hill around 1:30 Sunday morning. Guam Police Department spokesperson Officer Paul Tapao says two female tourists were walking down the hill from Kmart when a heavy set man ran toward their direction and grabbed one of the tourist's Kmart shopping bag from her and fled toward the jungle line area.
The victim tried to chase him but stopped because there was no lighting in the area. An all points bulletin was put out for a suspect vehicle and Dededo Precinct officers later located the car in the Latte Heights area. Officer Tapao says a check of the vehicle showed some of the items that were purchased by the victims from Kmart.
Jessop was arrested on charges of robbery and conspiracy. But instead of appearing before a judge for a magistrate's hearing this afternoon, Jessop was released by the Attorney General's Office. AG's Office spokesperson Carlina Charfauros says the release was ordered and a notice to appear was given to Jessop because "there was insufficient evidence to charge him".
Charfauros says further review will be conducted.
KUAM News has confirmed that Jessop was one of two DepCor officers who were terminated last week relative to an ongoing investigation into a hole that was discovered in the perimeter fence of the Mangilao Compound back in February. The name of the other officer has not been released because it is a personnel matter.
Officials could only confirm that Jessop is no longer employed at the department. No other information has been released about their alleged role or knowledge of the hole in the fence as the matter remains under investigation.
KUAM News has confirmed however that DepCor director Jose San Agustin did file an escape report with police back in April, but officials have not disclosed any information about that report.
According to news files, this isn't the first time Jessop has been fired from the department. In 2005 he and two other DOC officers were fired following the escape of three maximum security inmates. Jessop appealed his case to the Civil Service Commission, claiming the action was too harsh as he believed management should have shared the blame for the escape for failing to adequately staff the facility according to the department's standard operating procedures.
After a year of going back and forth, management reached an agreement with Jessop. In lieu of termination, he received a 30-day suspension and the remainder of his time was considered leave without pay.
Jessop has 20 days to file an appeal of his latest termination to the CSC.