OUR VIEW: Negligence of sleeping guard has no excuseIt appears the great escape that took place last week near Spencer wasn’t so great after all. It doesn’t take much cunning and derring-do to tip-toe out of a transport van when the guard is snoozing soundly at his post.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
It appears the great escape that took place last week near Spencer wasn’t so great after all. It doesn’t take much cunning and derring-do to tip-toe out of a transport van when the guard is snoozing soundly at his post.
According to McCook County Sheriff Mark Norris, that’s what happened. Oscar Antonio Herrera-Menjivar was being transported in a van operated by Inmate Services Corp., of Arkansas, when the van stopped at a truck stop around 2 a.m. Saturday, July 14. According to Norris, the escape was so easy that Herrera-Menjivar even had time to gather some belongings.
In the time since — more than a week — area law-enforcement agencies are left to clean up this mess. Herrera-Menjivar has reportedly been spotted a few times in the region, including once around the tiny town of Dolton. The fugitive was free of his shackles and wearing civilian clothing, with one exception — he had no shoes, and his feet apparently were wrapped in cloth.
He picked a miserable week to take flight. Temperatures throughout July have soared to around 100. The high temps are no picnic for searchers, either.
And if reports are true, all of this is due to the great negligence of a sleeping guard, working for a company that specializes in prisoner transportation. McCook County and other law-enforcement agencies in the region are not at fault here, but they’re the ones who must deal with the problem.
Perhaps new information will come to light that clear Inmate Services Corp. of negligence. If so, we’ll be happy to publish those details; in the meantime, we are disgusted that this could have happened.
We have reported that Inmate Services Corp. will be billed for costs associated with recapturing Herrera-Menjivar, and that’s the way it should be. Taxpayers and local police are the last people responsible for this foul-up. We are confident he will be caught, but similarly, we are confident that the costs will add up.
Meanwhile, we urge residents in this region to be on the lookout for Herrera-Menjivar. He cannot last without food and water, and we know he already has asked for help at a couple of residences. At one area home, he asked the property owner about directions to Denver, of all things.
He could be, or could soon get, desperate. Hiding in steamy cornfields in 100-degree heat would tax anyone’s patience and sanity.
We anxiously await his capture, just like we anxiously await the full report on how the escape happened in the first place.