REDWOOD CITY (BCN) – While jails occasionally have to deal with attempts by inmates to break out of their facilities, a 35-year-old Redwood City man is accused of breaking into a San Mateo County Jail facility last week, prosecutors said Thursday.

The man pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and identity theft after he was found sitting in the lobby of the Maple Street Correctional Center’s transitional housing unit lobby last Friday night, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

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A correctional officer responded to a late night alarm that went off and found the man sitting there. After initially thinking he was an inmate who had left his cell, the officer realized he was in street clothes and arrested him, prosecutors said.

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Surveillance footage showed he had climbed over an exterior and interior fence and then climbed to the second floor patio at the facility and went into the jail through the patio door. He had credit cards from other people in his possession and allegedly admitted to being under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The man said he was trying to get away from a man with a gun and didn’t know he had entered a jail facility, prosecutors said. He entered his not guilty pleas to the misdemeanor charges Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance.

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