Deputies on leave, policies under review after inmate escapes custody at BR hospital
UPDATE: The sheriff's office announced Friday it has suspended the deputy who was tasked with guarding the inmate for one month without pay, and he will be retrained on procedure.
Prison administration is also revising policies and procedures to require additional security for higher-risk inmates. All prison personnel will be advised and trained on policy and procedure.
“It is our job to maintain the security of inmates that must leave the prison facility and preserve the safety of hospital staff and the community,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement. “The failure of any deputy to follow procedures and jeopardize the safety of others is unacceptable. I’m making it very clear to all of our personnel that I expect strict adherence to our safety protocol.”
BATON ROUGE – The sheriff’s office is reviewing policies related to inmates receiving care at area hospitals in the wake of a weekend escape.
Cecil Williams, 20, was able to free himself of restraints and walk out of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital Sunday. Williams was captured after an afternoon-long standoff later in the day.
Williams was in jail after being arrested by Baton Rouge Police on attempted murder and kidnapping charges.
Williams was at the hospital for treatment after complaining he could not breathe and was scheduled to return to jail from the hospital in the hours after his escape.
Williams escaped custody from the hospital around 4 a.m. Sunday. He’d been hospitalized since Thursday.
How he escaped is the focus of an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office investigation.
Deputies said surveillance video showed Williams exiting a first-floor elevator and walking toward Essen Lane where he was able to contact a friend to pick him up.
Williams told deputies after his surrender following the escape, he changed clothes at a friend’s house and then went to the home where he eventually was found on Pocahontas Street.
According to a relative of Williams, the escapee arrived at the relative's house around 10 o'clock Sunday morning telling the relative that he bonded out of jail. When the family member discovered that Williams was lying they notified authorities.
EBRSO SWAT surrounded the house and spent hours attempting to make contact with the escaped inmate. William's mother and former counselor pled him to come out, but they received no response.
When SWAT deployed CS gas into the house Williams exited the residence at approximately 2:15 p.m.
Monday, the sheriff’s office said the agency is reviewing prison policy and procedures in relation to the investigation. Prison administration is also reiterating the policies of securing a hospitalized inmate to all employees as well as other policies and procedures to ensure the security of inmates that must leave the prison facility.
The sheriff’s office said it is also working with Our Lady of the Lake as well as other area hospitals where inmates receive care to ensure any concerns are addressed.
“Our Lady of the Lake staff have been very cooperative and helpful with the investigation,” the sheriff’s office said.
“It is our job to maintain the security of inmates that must leave the prison facility and preserve the safety of hospital staff and the community,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in a statement Monday. “The failure of any deputy to follow procedures and jeopardize the safety of others is unacceptable. I will take corrective and preventative action to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible.”
The deputies assigned to the hospital and responsible for Williams during his stay are on leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
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