Thursday, January 11, 2007

Police Chase Causes A Lockdown At Local Hospital

This week there have been a couple of articles in my local paper that told about a lockdown at our local hospital.


Chase goes through hospital.

Marshall White
Reporter

Two suspects fleeing the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force caused a lockdown at Heartland Regional Medical Center for about two hours Monday evening.

The lockdown began at about 6:05 p.m. Monday after a black male ran around the southern end of the hospital and entered through the cardiac care unit. That pursuit ended in a stairwell when officers lost the suspect.

Buchanan County Sheriff Mike Strong commended hospital security for successfully locking down within 10 minutes the entire facility, which includes five stories in one tower and other wings spread over a campus that includes more than five acres. No one was allowed in or out as additional officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Joseph Police Department and numerous sheriff's deputies responded to the scene.

A hospital security officer went with each team of officers conducting a room-by-room search for the individual, who wasn't found, said Capt. Howard Judd, the sheriff's road patrol supervisor.

A small crowd of about 25 individuals was waiting to gain admittance at 7:50 p.m. Monday. The sheriff said that law enforcement officers were confident the individual wasn't in the hospital building and reopened the facility moments later. Dozens of individuals left the building, making a beeline for their vehicles.

The lockdown was the result of Drug Strike Force officers attempting to stop a suspicious car on Pickett Road, west of the Belt Highway, at about 5:40 p.m. Monday, Mr. Strong said.

Following procedures, the officers established a roadblock, but the two black males, who were believed to be armed, managed to elude officers. At about 6:05 p.m. Monday, Strike Force officers picked up their trail near Heartland Regional Medical Center at Faraon Street and Riverside Road.

One suspect ran in the hospital's front entrance and down the hallway toward the information desk with officers in hot pursuit, Mr. Judd said.

Reports have not been submitted yet, but it is clear that at least one officer drew his weapon during the chase through the hospital to protect innocents and stop the suspect if he attempted to use a weapon, Mr. Strong said.

One suspect turned down a hallway near the information desk and eventually ran out into a courtyard, where he was caught and arrested, the sheriff said. The other suspect remains at large.

Two other individuals were seen on the campus near a water pond and stopped for questioning. Officers weren't releasing any information about the suspects or their vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing and officers have recovered a large amount of what is believed to be a controlled substance, crack cocaine, Mr. Judd said. It will be sent for testing, he said. This was the first time the sheriff's department had to deal with multiple agencies in an emergency and from an administrative standpoint the new radio system worked perfectly, Mr. Judd said.

A hospital spokeswoman on scene declined to talk with the News-Press, referring all questions to the sheriff.


The second article tells that this was not the first run in with the law that one of the suspects ever had.


Kansas City man charged in Heartland incident
Defendant held without bail

Marshall White
Reporter

Three felony charges were filed against a man with an extensive prior criminal record who attempted to elude officers by fleeing through Heartland Regional Medical Center Monday night.

Akil R. Burns, 26, is charged with two counts of felony distributing of a controlled substance and a charge of second-degree drug trafficking.

A Buchanan County Drug Strike Force officer who handled the arrest said in court documents that Mr. Burns, who has a Kansas City address, has no ties to the community. However, starting in 2001, Mr. Burns has a strong and violent criminal history with St. Joseph.

According to electronic court records, in 2001 Buchanan County Circuit Judge Patrick Robb accepted Mr. Burns' guilty plea to a charge of unlawful use of a weapon and sentenced him to five years in prison. The following year Mr. Burns was charged with second-degree assault. Judge Daniel Kellogg accepted a guilty plea and sentenced him to seven years. One year later in 2003, Mr. Kellogg accepted another guilty plea, this time on a charge of distributing a controlled substance. Mr. Burns was sentenced to another five years in prison.

Monday Mr. Burns allegedly was dealing in drugs again. In a probable cause statement filed with the court case, Jeffrey Fisher, a Drug Strike Force officer, stated that Mr. Burns sold a cocaine-based substance in a plastic bag Monday to a confidential informant. Funds supplied by the Strike Force for the buy were recovered at the time of Mr. Burns' arrest. The second drug charge is for another drug sale in November.

The buy occurred in the 3200 block of South 36th Street and Mr. Burns left the scene in a beige-colored Ford Explorer with another black male.

Strike Force members attempted to stop the Ford on Pickett Road, west of the Belt Highway, at about 5:35 p.m. In the ensuing five-minute chase officers pursued the suspects for about five miles. Mr. Burns fled the Ford, running through Heartland in an unsuccessful attempt to evade capture. He was caught in a courtyard at the medical center.

The incident necessitated a lockdown at Heartland.

"Our personnel followed the emergency plans that we have in place," said Dr. Robert Permut, the hospital's chief medical officer. "All personnel know what to do to maintain security and safety of our patients, visitors and employees. We're pretty pleased with the process and outcome of Monday night. A number of patients and visitors have contacted us and stated that they appreciated the way they were kept informed. They also stated that they felt safe. Nevertheless, staff will conduct a formal debriefing Wednesday to see if there is any fine tuning that needs to be done."

Officers are still seeking a second suspect last seen in a medical center stairwell.

Mr. Burns won't be leaving the Buchanan County Jail in the foreseeable future. Associate Circuit Judge Ronald Taylor denied bail and ordered the defendant brought back to court at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 23 for an arraignment.


That second article left me with a question. Our local paper has a section called "It's your call". This morning one of the callers commented on the part of the article I wondered about. "Something amiss I'm confused in St. Joseph. I've read your paper twice. How could the man responsible for the hospital incident, who ran through the hospital, that the officers were chasing, be arrested all those times and sentenced to five years, seven years and five years in prison, but yet he's still running around St. Joseph selling drugs? I think there is something wrong with our system here." I'm thinking I agree with this caller. It is time to start planning on replacing some of our judges.

Thanks go to:

St. Joseph News-Press

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I do believe there is something wrong with our judges, they need consider all cases not just want Mike Strong wants on a case to make him look good...you choose to sell drugs just like you choose to do them.. Yes it is wrong does it really come to 20 yrs of our tax money to house them. I would rather pay for a murderer or child molestor.. but they get 5 yrs and released..Something doesn't add up here...Thanks

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is time for a new Sheriff in this county to many people have said many negative things about Mike Strong his son how he sold drugs & several people on the Drug Strike force... doing crack cocaine... we need to make a difference and get someone for the citizins in Buchannan County.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murderers, pedos, and rapists get less time than this! Free Akil

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murderers, pedos, and rapists get less time than this! Free Akil

11:57 AM  

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