|Murder suspect escapes from PMH|
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Jun 29, 2012
The new security policy police put in place at Princess Margaret Hospital earlier this month failed to stop a 17-year-old murder suspect from escaping police custody at PMH early yesterday.
Police said the teen was being guarded by two police officers around 3:30 a.m. yesterday when he escaped.
He is wanted for questioning in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man in Union Village on Monday.
Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade ordered round-the-clock surveillance at the hospital after a police officer was shot in the face at the Accident & Emergency section, allegedly by an armed robbery and rape suspect on June 2.
Police caught the alleged shooter 15 hours later.
Police said yesterday the teenage murder suspect was being treated at the male surgical ward II for a neck wound when he escaped. He was not charged with any crime but was wanted for questioning.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Hulan Hanna said the suspect was not restrained.
“This person was not handcuffed,” he said.
Hanna said other details surrounding the escape were sketchy.
“It is unclear what series of events led to his escaping,” he said.
“Someone has to explain to the Bahamian public how is it a person is able to escape after two police officers were assigned to the area.”
Assistant Commissioner Leon Bethell is leading the investigation into the escape.
Hanna said if the investigation finds a police officer culpable the officer would be punished.
At least four inmates or suspects have escaped from custody while at PMH since December 2011 according to The Nassau guardian's record.
Hanna said the escapes could be linked to infrastructure problems at the hospital or negligence on the part of police or prison officers.
“From time to time these things may happen, but whenever they happen we have to be in a position to determine if the institution needs to do more infrastructural upgrades; do we as a police force need to look again at the numbers we put at these places or do we look at the actual people that we put there. Why is it that an officer may not be doing his job?
“Despite the best infrastructure, despite the best strategic things that the commissioner will direct at the end of the day, the officer must do the due diligence.
“He is the person representing the commissioner, representing himself; he is representing the Bahamian people. He is the one that must see to it that a prisoner remains a prisoner.
“If that did not happen because of negligence on the part of the officers, then consequences will follow.”
Hanna said the escape did not make the police force look good, but added that the commissioner has ordered that the RBPF “get it right”.
The police officer who was shot at the hospital on June 2 was discharged from hospital on Wednesday.
Former senator Dr. Duane Sands, who treated the officer, told The Nassau Guardian last night that there is a need for a special area of the hospital where prisoners and suspects are treated away from other patients.