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2 resign after escape at jail

Detention deputies count heads periodically to make sure all the inmates are still in jail. They look at ID cards, compare them to faces and mark them off a list of names. But on the night of Nov. 13, at least two deputies counted a man who wasn't there.

That man was Rory McGrory, who had cut through a minimum-security tent, dug under a fence and absconded into the swamp.

It appears he had a head start of nearly 10 hours by the time anyone realized he was gone.

Now two deputies have resigned amid an internal affairs investigation regarding the escape, the first in five years from the Land O'Lakes jail. Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said Ricardo Rivera and Harry Irizarry counted 94 inmates in the tent when there were only 93.

And records suggest that Irizarry gave an investigator false information in the immediate aftermath of McGrory's escape.

Irizarry said he counted McGrory during a head count about 11 p.m. Nov. 13, according to a sheriff's incident report.

"Deputy H. Irizarry stated he did not see the suspect's face, but rather only saw a body due to the fact the suspect's feet were facing him when he conducted the count," said a report by Deputy Mark Pizzurro.

But in an interview with the Times after he was caught later that week, McGrory said he left long before 11 that night. Doll confirmed this Wednesday.

It is unclear what, if anything, Irizarry saw in McGrory's bed.

"We did not find any dummy materials like you often see in Hollywood movies," Doll said.

Rivera, 35, resigned Nov. 21. References in his personnel file called him hardworking and dependable.

"By being a detention deputy," he wrote in his application, "I would like to think I can change someone's life."

Irizarry, 37, put in his resignation Nov. 22. References say he is a good husband, a good father.

His stated reason for leaving:

"I have decided to pursue other interest(s) at this time."

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