Longtime criminal justice advocate charged with breaking into new Nashville detention center

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A longtime criminal justice advocate was arrested Saturday and charged with attempted burglary of the new downtown Nashville detention center.

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said Alex Friedmann, 50, is free on bond after being charged with attempted burglary, evidence tampering and possession of burglary tools at the Downtown Detention Center in Nashville.

On Dec. 30, 2019, lieutenants were in the Downtown Detention Center (DDC) control room and noticed a set of keys with a ring that looked different from the others.

After an audit, it was confirmed that two facility keys were missing.

Video surveillance shows an individual matching Friedmann’s description spray painting around the key control room door. They say he entered the room and placed a key ring in his pocket.

He returned two hours later to replace the keys. It was also discovered he previously entered the building under false pretenses on at least three other occasions.

Courtesy: Davidson County Sheriff’s Office

On Saturday, deputies were monitoring the DDC cameras and noticed that same individual entering the building. That individual was later determined to be Friedmann.

He was detained in the DDC until Metro police arrived.

They found bolt cutters, a key chit, and schematics of the DDC in an igloo cooler Friedmann carried into the facility.

The affidavit states that Friedmann was also seen on video trying to destroy the schematics by ripping and chewing it up.

“The seriousness of Mr. Friedmann’s charges cannot be ignored. His actions have placed the safety and security of our entire community in peril, not to mention DCSO staff and inmates,” Hall said. “There are many items of value in a $200 million facility that can be stolen if your motivation is profit. There is only one reason for these sinister acts and that is to compromise our ability to maintain a secure facility and that is unconscionable and dangerous for everyone.”

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