http://www.nbc5i.com/news/10420744/detail.html

POSTED: 9:07 am CST November 29, 2006
UPDATED: 9:56 am CST November 29, 2006

DALLAS -- Deputies shut down the west tower of the Dallas County Jail Tuesday night for a security sweep after an attempted escape involving a convicted child molester and an eighth-grader.



Mark Noriega used a young accomplice to get him tools from the outside, police said. Sheriff’s deputies caught the inmate trying to punch a hole in the wall of his cell on the fifth floor of the jail using a set of tools he got with the help of a 14-year-old girl, police said.


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Deputies said Noreiga made phone calls from jail to the girl, convincing her to supply him with a bag of tools to break free.

"Inside the cell was a small gym bag containing a hammer a drill with some drill bits and a tire iron," Dallas County Sheriff's Department Det. Raul Reyna said.

Deputies said the girl took the bus from her house in south Dallas and waited outside the jail as Noriega broke out a window, lowered a rope made of sheets, and hoisted the gym bag to his cell.

"The window wasn't big enough to crawl through. He was trying to make that hole bigger," Reyna said.

The plot was foiled when the teenager’s mother caught her coming home. The girl confessed and her mom called police.

“It's a bad dream -- a bad dream,” the mother said.

The girl's mother can't understand how her daughter, an honors student, got mixed up in the situation.

“She's a very mature girl and I don't have any problem with her,” she said.

The woman asked not to be identified to protect her daughter.

The sheriff's department is happy the plot didn't go any further. Noriega is in jail for failing to register as a sex offender.

The girl is in juvenile detention as detectives investigate.