Inmate takes warden hostage

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Thursday, December 5, 2013


A GERMAN national, who was jailed in relation to a human trafficking case held hostage the Talisay City jail warden yesterday morning.

The police said that Thomas Michael Ruhland, 39, asked to speak with Talisay City Jail Warden Gil Inopia to follow up on his request to be allowed to see a dentist.

SPO1 Mikie Espina of the Talisay City Police Station said that Ruhland was allowed to enter the warden’s office inside the Talisay City Jail in Barangay Maghaway.

The German national reportedly handed Inopia a letter containing a list of his demands.

Inopia, in a separate interview yesterday, said the first sentence on the letter read: “I'm armed with a knife.”

Nail file

Ruhland was indeed carrying an improvised knife from a nail file with a tin can as cover. He kept it inside his pocket.

Ruhland demanded a loaded handgun with two magazines and three handcuffs.

He also ordered Inopia to hand over his car keys so he will have a getaway vehicle.

But Inopia pretended not to understand Ruhland, who does not speak English well, to distract him. As Ruhland explained his demands, Inopia disarmed the foreigner.

Inopia called out for his staff, SJO1s Joven Dalunan and Rey Larida, to help him subdue Ruhland. Dalunan sustained a wound on his hand while attempting to disarm the German national.

With the help of the police, Ruhland returned to his cell.

Based on his initial investigation, Inopia said Ruhland was upset at the slow progress of his case.

Ruhland has been accused of molesting two 14-year-old girls inside a motel in Talisay City in 2011.

As for Ruhland’s request for a dentist, Inopia said he had contacted the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology 7 dentist to check the German. But the dentist’s visit did not push through because of typhoon Yolanda.

Inopia said he doesn't want to file charges against Ruhland.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 05, 2013.

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