Metro Corrections officer injured while tracking down HIP inmate
A Metro Corrections office is recovering after he was injured trying to track down an inmate on the Home Incarceration Program, the union’s president said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Metro Corrections officer is recovering after he was injured trying to track down an inmate on the Home Incarceration Program, the union’s president said.
Michael S. Wright faced a long list of non-violent charges. A judge recently placed him on HIP with certain conditions on where he could be at what times. Metro Corrections FOP president Tracy Dotson said Wright was supposed to be staying at Our Father’s House on West Jefferson Street, but over the weekend, he was found at a location where he was not allowed to be.
“We didn’t know until the halfway house called and said that he was missing,” Dotson said.
Dotson said HIP officers didn’t know right away, because the GPS alarm for Wright’s ankle monitor was not functioning properly.
“I’m being told there is an issue where their alarms can be silence,” Dotson said. “And if they are, we don’t know that their alarms are going off.”
According to an incident report, Wright was tracked by his ankle monitor wandering around Market, Rowan, Duncan, Alford, Slevin, Xavier, 26th, and 38th Streets on Saturday night. Dotson said he was finally located at a home on North 27th Street.
When officers arrived at the house, Dotson said they were told someone was in the backyard.
“It was called out that there was a male in the back of the house,” Dotson said.
An HIP officer went to check if it was Wright. Dotson said the officer found a man in a car with another person and that the man refused to stop the car.
That man was 30-year-old Michael Blanton, according to an arrest warrant.
"When my officer reached in to attempt to put the car in park and detain the subject, he guns the engine," Dotson said. "He hits the gas and drags my officer."
Dotson said the officer has a back injury but will be OK. He also said that the officer’s body camera did not turn on during the incident.
A warrant was issued for Blanton's arrest on May 10. It was served later that day. He is charged with second-degree assault, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and one count of first-degree fleeing or evading police.
Wright was found inside the house in the basement with a woman, according to the incident report. He told officers he “met her through Face Book” and that he missed the halfway house’s curfew because “time got away from him and he was going to go back in the morning.”
Wright was booked at Metro Corrections, but no new charges were filed.
According to Dotson, there have been problems before with body cameras and other equipment not turning on or working properly. He said public safety officers who are doing a dangerous job need better than what they are being given.
“We’ve pretty much established, and I don’t think there’s much argument, that we don’t have the number of officers that we need on HIP to monitor everybody that needs to be monitored the way they should be,” Dotson said. “That taken into account with equipment not working properly, and then you have this issue of are we even going to be notified that a GPS alarm goes off? There are some issues here that need to be straightened out in a hurry.”
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