CHICAGO, July 9 (UPI) -- A Chicago man visiting his son in jail accidentally became a prisoner himself when he walked into the wrong room and was locked in for 31 hours.
On Saturday evening, inmate Frank Polk's father came to visit him at Cook County Jail in Southwest Chicago. After being processed at roughly 6 p.m., Polk's father proceeded to where he thought he would visit his son. But Polk had been recently transferred to an area of the jail his father was not yet familiar with.
"[Polk's father] was processed in and told to go down the hall and stay to the right," Cara Smith, executive director of the Cook County Jail, explained to ABC 7. "He did that and encountered a visiting room for a whole other unit in our maximum security division."
When the man shut the door behind him, it locked.
After waiting for two hours, Polk's father realized he was probably in the wrong the place, but could not escape. To make matters worse, the room is never utilized on weekends, so there were no personnel or prisoners who could have heard the middle-aged man banging on the door for help.
After being trapped alone in the room for over a day, Polk's father took matters into his own hands.
"Brilliantly, he broke the sprinkler head off which alerted the fire department so they were able to identify where it was coming from and they went in and found him,'' Smith told the Chicago Tribune.
"He was incredibly, obviously, relieved and couldn't have been more gracious."
Polk's father had to get stitches on one of his thumbs from breaking the sprinkler but was in otherwise fine condition when released from Rush University Medical Center.