Jail creates policy after inmate released without shirt, shoes; inmate and mother planned photo.

February 2, 2018

Nicholas Wroble playing with his dog outside the jail.

Jail creates policy after inmate released without shirt, shoes; inmate and mother planned photo.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A recent photo that was posted on social media of an inmate that was released recently from the Mason County Jail without a shirt and shoes has meant the creation of a new policy at the jail. However, Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said that a recent news report of the photo has not told the entire story behind what happened.

On Jan. 30, 2018, inmate Nicholas David Wroble, 29, was released from the jail after serving a sentence for breaking and entering a building. The sheriff’s office did not release Wroble’s name to the media. That information was released through a video posted by Wroble’s mother Teresa Wertenberg-Wroble on Facebook.

A news report on a TV station Thursday lead with the accusation that Wroble was “forced to wait outside without a shirt in the freezing cold.”

Nicholas Wroble moments after exiting the jail.

However, video and audio released today by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office tells a different story. Sheriff Cole acknowledged that Wroble was not wearing shoes when he was released. “That was not right and we have created a policy to address that, along with the fact that he was not wearing a shirt,” Cole said.

Jail security video shows Nicholas Wroble walking out of the jail building, at the Court Street door, without a shirt and no shoes. He is carrying a bag and sets it on a bench. Two women and a dog immediately get out of a vehicle parked on the north side of Court Street facing west. One of the women positions herself behind a tree and begins to record him with a cell phone. The dog runs up to Wroble and he beings petting it. He then walks to the car and gets in, along with the dog and the two women. The length of time it takes him to walk out the door into the car is 1 minutes, 2 seconds.

Wroble was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court in late December 2017 after pleading guilty to the crime in October 2017. He was sentenced to one year of discretionary jail time, serving six months up front with 99 days credit. Discretionary jail time means that after the “up front” time is served, the court has the discretion to place the defendant back in jail if laws are broken or terms of the sentence are violated. He was also sentenced to 24 months of probation.

Wroble was being released from jail to a treatment facility, per request of his attorney at time of sentencing. See related story.

Prior to his release, Wroble had a visit from his mother, Teresa Wertenberg-Wroble. The jail visitor room separates the inmate from the visitor by protective glass and they must use telephones in order to communicate. Upon picking the phone, the user is informed by a recorded message that the phone call is being recorded by jail personnel.

In the conversation Nicholas Wroble asks his mother: “Did you get some shoes?” She replies by asking him what size he wears. He responds that he wears size 8 1/2 and she says that she got the wrong size and laughs. Then, she starts to talk about what he will wear when he comes out of jail.

“Anyways, I think what I’ll do is let you come out the way… um, I’m curious to see how they are going to let you come out,” she says.

“Wouldn’t it be fun to see how they make you leave? I mean I’ll see you right there,” she says. “I can snap a picture of what you look like when you get out. I’m curious how they are going to let you leave.”

“I’ll do it,” he responds. “They’re going to let me leave the way I came in.”

Teresa Wertenberg-Wroble then laughs.

Nicholas Wroble then goes on to tell his mother that he wants to see his dog and would like her to bring the dog with her.

The conversation released by the sheriff’s office is then redacted based on personal conversation. It then picks up again.

“They’ll give you all your t-shirts and underwear back, and socks,” Teresa Wertenberg-Wroble says.

“I kept one fresh one, one brand new and one brand new pair of shirt and brand new pair of socks and one brand new pair of underwear,” Nicholas says.

“Will they give you your other ones?” his mother asks.

“I don’t want them,” he says. She then asks why. “Because it’s bad luck.”

“Oh, it is? I didn’t know that,” she says. “Why is it bad luck?”

“If you do anything in here and you bring anything out of jail you come right back,” he says. “I kept one of everything and didn’t wear it the whole time so I could save it for when I leave. So all I have is a pair of new socks and a new shirt and I have my boxers, which I wonder if they will make me wear.”

“The new ones?” his mother asks.

“Instead of wearing my boxers I came in here with I will wear the underwear you got me and walk out with those,” Nicholas says.

“I don’t think I will do that,” Teresa says.

“You said it now,” he says.

“No I’m not going to do that. I was kind of half kidding. No you can’t do that,” Teresa says.

“You know I’ll do it,” he says.

“Yeah, I know. They’ll get you for something.”

Then Nicholas tells his mother that “it would be the perfect shift to do it on,” explaining that one of the corrections deputies had made a comment about what he was wearing.

Sheriff Cole said the jail did not have a policy about what inmates should wear when released from the jail. Instead, there was a common practice of releasing the inmates with the clothes they were wearing when they were booked.

“We have a responsibility to take care of the inmates in this jail from the time they are booked until they are released,” Cole said. “I take responsibility for this and we have now implemented a policy that will prevent an inmate leaving without the proper attire.”

Cole had posted a statement Thursday, Feb. 1, on the sheriff’s office Facebook page stating what had happened and that a policy was being developed. At that time, he said no other details would be released about the incident. When a Cadillac TV station reported on the incident Thursday, Cole said he was prompted to release further information. He met with Teresa Wroble Friday morning and explained that he would be releasing the video and audio to the media.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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