Security under review after VCU escape
BATON ROUGE - State Police said security at the Violent Crimes Unit is being reviewed after an accused attempted murderer escaped through the ceiling Sunday night.
Investigators said Ryan Boatner, 27, was being held for a home invasion, robbery and shooting Sunday night when he managed to escape the building by climbing through the ceiling. They said Boatner crawled out of a ceiling tile on the opposite side of the holding cell he was in, then walked out the door.
"We need to make sure that doesn't happen again, and make sure when someone is secured they stay secured in there," State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson told News 2.
The VCU is used by law enforcement agencies to process prisoners and question them before they're taken to the parish jail. Even though the VCU is on the grounds of State Police Headquarters, Edmonson said individual law enforcement agencies are responsible for their own prisoners.
Signs are currently posted on the holding cells saying prisoners must be checked every 15 minutes, something Chief Carl Dabadie with the Baton Rouge Police said was done in Boatner's case.
"It was approximately four to five minutes when they checked on him," Dabadie said.
The search for Boatner Sunday night involved numerous police officers, K9's, and a helicopter. Four hours after the escape, Boatner was caught near the home of 80-year-old Earl Blanchard, who said when he woke up to the Hollywood-style scene outside he grabbed his gun.
"I've never hurt anyone in my life, but I wouldn't have had no trouble pulling the trigger," Blanchard said.
Boatner was taken to the hospital for injuries, and booked into the parish jail.
"We're re-evaluating this, and if we see something needs to be changed by all means we will change it," Dabadie said.
Currently, Chief Dabadie plans to sit down with Col. Edmonson to evaluate security protocols and make changes. Dabadie said disciplinary action has not been taken against any of the officers involved. The exact cost of the search has not been released.