TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A 72-year-old janitorial worker from Orlando is taking legal action after she was accidentally locked inside an Orange County Courthouse holding cell for three days without food, according to reports.
In the report, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office stated that a courthouse deputy came across an unaccompanied cleaning cart near a courtroom on the 23rd floor on Jan. 30.
When the deputy walked over to investigate, they found Libia Victoria Vargas, 72, locked inside a holding cell.
Vargas had been locked inside the cell for three days without food. Authorities said she was able to drink water from a small faucet on top of the cell’s toilet. On top of that, Vargas is a diabetic and told deputies she was unable to take her Insulin due to her being accidentally locked in the cell.
Once she was freed, she was given food to help adjust her blood sugar levels but ultimately refused medical treatment. She was taken home by an officer following the incident.
Now, Vargas is seeking legal action after she was trapped for those long three days.
According to NBC Affiliate WESH, Vargas said she had a horrible panic attack that made her heart feel like it was “jumping out of her chest.”
“I held on to the hope that someone would realize that I had not come back down,” Vargas told WESH. The outlet reported that Vargas was found in her uniform, trembling from being cold.
After hours, the courthouse is monitored by guards with Allied Universal. When Vargas when to work the day of the accident, she gave security her identification card, signed a log book, and was given eight keys to work that night.
“They didn’t notice. When all the cleaning folks came back around 10 o’clock, her driver’s license was still sitting there. She never brought her keys back. Not only that, her car was sitting in the lot for three days,” Vargas’ attorney Bill McAfee told the news station.
McAfee said that’s why he’s pursuing legal action against the security company.
WESH reported that Allied Universal issued a statement regarding the incident saying: “Security professionals did not have access to certain designated areas, including where the incident occurred. We provide security services that include access control, screening, patrols, monitoring, and reporting.”
Despite being safe in the comfort of her home, Vargas shared that she’s still scared.
“Now, when I use the restroom and it’s dark, I’m scared. I make sure the door can open,” Vargas said.
Blisters on her hands from banging on the cell door are still visible, WESH reported
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Vargas with her immediate hospital expenses that she incurred as a result of the incident. Anyone wanting to donate can do so by following this link.