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Cook County inmate who fled hospital is caught, police say
Man fled from hospital into waiting vehicle

Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Chicago Tribune
by Monique Garcia

A Cook County jail inmate who overpowered a guard at Stroger Hospital Tuesday morning and escaped into a waiting van was caught by authorities hiding in a closet of a South Side home Tuesday night, officials said.

Kirk Davis, 27, who was being held in lieu of $160,000 bail on aggravated robbery charges, escaped after being brought to the hospital Tuesday morning for cancer treatment, according to Cook County sheriff's police.

Penny Mateck, sheriff's office spokeswoman, said Davis was arrested at about 8 p.m. Tuesday in a house at

71st Street
Langley Avenue
, where he was found hiding under a table inside a second-floor closet.

"He had shaved off his corn rows, he had a crew cut, he was clean-shaven and he had changed clothes," Mateck said. Kirk's freshly shaven hair, handcuffs and jail uniform were found in the home.

Four other people in the home, described as Davis' "associates," were taken in for questioning, but none had been charged with a crime late Tuesday night, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

Earlier Tuesday, Davis arrived at the hospital shackled and using crutches. Once inside, most of his restraints were removed.

Davis was being escorted from the registration area to a treatment area by a corrections officer when he "overpowered the officer, ran outside, got into a vehicle a few blocks away and fled the area," Mateck said.

One of his arms was still shackled to a crutch when he fled, officials said.

"We do have an ongoing problem with medical staff who wish to have people unshackled," Dart said. "I'd rather not have these people ever leave the jail."

Dart said charges will be sought against anyone who helped Davis in his escape, and the department will also be looking at how the incident occurred.

"We're investigating where we had a breakdown and there will be people who will pay consequences for that," Dart said.

A witness who gave chase said Davis was "running like he was in the Olympics," despite the crutches and a leg bandage.

Davis ran for two or three blocks before jumping into a gray or silver vehicle that apparently was waiting for him at
Harrison Street
Ogden Avenue
, the witness said.

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