Little Rock, AR – The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office released bodycam video of an inmate who jumped out of a wheelchair and escaped in front of the Pulaski County courthouse in Little Rock on Monday (video below).
The incident occurred at about 8:45 a.m. on March 7 when 41-year-old Joel Delgado was being transported to the courthouse from jail, KARK reported.
Delgado had been apprehended and taken into custody on charges of residential burglary and possession of a firearm.
The sheriff’s department said that Delgado claimed that he was injured during his capture so he was transported to the hospital for treatment, KARK reported.
Officials said Delgado was ultimately medically discharged and returned to the jail in a wheelchair.
Deputies transported him to court for a hearing on March 7 in the same wheelchair.
Bodycam video showed a deputy removing Delgado from the transport van using a mechanical lift mounted in its rear.
The deputy rolled the inmate away from the van and then left him sitting in the chair on the street unguarded for a moment while he closed up the back of the van.
Video showed Delgado, who was wearing a neck brace, sat patiently in the wheelchairr as the ramp went back into the van.
The deputy rolled Delgado onto the sidewalk in the wheelchair and up a ramp to the courthouse entrance, the video showed.
Just as they approached the doors of the building, Delgado claimed to have lost a shoe, and the deputy turned around to look for it.
A second later, Delgado jumped out of his wheelchair, dashed around a railing, and fled on foot, the video showed.
Bodycam video showed the deputy jumped over the railing and pursued Delgado on foot, but quickly lost him.
The deputy had left his radio and phone in the transport van and he asked a bystander to call 911 as he ran after the handcuffed, escaping inmate.
The video showed the deputy had lost sight of Delgado when he encountered a bystander who said he had seen the inmate and tried to stop him.
The deputy borrowed the man’s phone to call the jail and reported the inmate’s escape, but bodycam showed the flustered law enforcement officer couldn’t remember Delgado’s name.
“The wheelchair dude got up and ran,” he told the person who answered the phone at the jail. “I couldn’t catch his a–. And my radio was [unintelligible]… I had my camera on though.”
“I can’t even remember his name here on the road,” the deputy continued.
After he summoned help, the deputy walked back to the courthouse and told the other deputy waiting in the transport van what had happened, the video showed.
“Dude ran, man,” he announced when he opened the van door.
The deputy driving the van laughed at him and told him he was going to be in trouble and told him that he should have handcuffed the inmate to the wheelchair.
The sheriff’s department said it turned out that the shackled inmate had caught a taxi to make his getaway, KARK reported.
Delgado was re-arrested a few hours later on West 65th Street, according to deputies.
Officials said the inmate would now also be facing an escape charge when he returned to court, KARK reported.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office officials said they were reviewing their agency’s transport policies and procedures to see if any changes needed to be made.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Obscene Language: