As reported on 6/23/09 By Stacia Glenn on thedailybulletin.com
Police said a 16-year-old Redlands boy was arrested three times in a day, ending his minor crime spree by running from the police station in handcuffs and leading officers on a brief chase. His brief escape highlights a problem police have struggled with since September: there is no safe place to detain prisoners in the city. Officers encountered him about noon Saturday after he was reported vandalizing property in the 800 block of Colton Avenue. After finding him nearby, police were detaining him in a field while waiting for a witness to arrive. When the boy tried to run and struggled with officers, they tased him, said Redlands spokesman Carl Baker. After the teen was arrested, he was cited and released to his father.
A little more than two hours later, CVS employees reported that two boys on bicycles had stolen alcohol from the Orange Street store and were seen riding toward Smiley Park. Police located and arrested the same boy and 21-year-old Evean Hodge. They then brought them to the police annex on Cajon Street, where two other prisoners were handcuffed to chairs in the lobby while waiting to be taken to the county jail. The boy's dad had already arrived.
It was then that the teen decided to make his escape. "The teen bolted out the front door with handcuffs on, down the steps and our officers were after him in a foot pursuit," Baker said.
One of the officers injured his knee and elbow on the steps as he ran after the boy, who was eventually captured west of the Redlands Bowl. Because he has heart issues, the boy was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center and then booked into juvenile hall after receiving a clean bill of health.
"We dont have a physical building you would expect for a Police Department. We don't have a secure place to keep people," he said. "We're locking people up in the lobby of the old city hall until we can transport them."
The department's holding cell went out of commission in September after the police station on Brookside Avenue shut down due to safety concerns.
Editor Rozek’s Notes: I’m wondering what safety concerns there were in the out of commission holding cell? Was it really more dangerous than running down a flight of steps handcuffed to a chair? I’ve seen the “slips, trips and falls” video that is put out so people are warned of safety hazards in the workplace but don’t remember anything in there about being handcuffed in a field. I’m also concerned that the father of this 16 year old boy may not have been watching him closely enough after the police released him to him the first time. Was he actually at CVS picking up alcohol for his father? I do think it is very nice that the police took him to the hospital to check his health. Are they sure it was his heart and not some sort of synapse issue in his brain?…I’m just saying…I can’t imagine not learning my lesson the first time I had to run away from the police! This is the same kind of kid who would run with scissors! That’s crazy man!