Maine jail frees wrong inmate named ‘Ismail’

/ Source: staff and news service reports

A maximum-security inmate who was mistakenly released Wednesday night has turned himself in to the police chief of Portland, the Press Herald reported Friday.

Ahmed Ismail reportedly arranged through his lawyer to give himself up.

"This is exactly what I wanted to see happen," Police Chief James Craig said, according to the Press Herald. "He was back in custody within 24 hours and no one was injured."

The county jail had released Ismail when they were supposed to be releasing another man, Ismail Awad.

The confusion occurred at the Cumberland County jail when someone arrived to bail out 20-year-old Ismail Mohamed Awad, whose bail had been set at $240.

The Press Herald said a correctional officer asked that "Ismail" be brought to the front. Officers brought forward 23-year-old Ahmed Ismail and released him. He had been charged with robbery and aggravated reckless conduct with a gun.

Sheriff Mark Dion couldn't explain why Ismail's yellow jumpsuit, worn to indicate a maximum-security prisoner, didn't alert officers that he shouldn't be released. Ismail was being held on $50,000 bail, the Press Herald reported.

Ismail played along, Dion said, signing paperwork for bail as if he was Awad and taking Awad's clothes, belongings and identification.

Dion said Ismail is the second inmate to be mistakenly released from the facility this year, the newspaper reported. A man who was supposed to be transferred to another facility in August was released instead. The suspected robber turned himself in the next day, according to the Press Herald.