EDGEWATER, Colo. (CBS4) – A wanted sex offender escaped from Denver Health Medical Center on Sunday and was caught Monday evening at a home in Edgewater.
“We sat on the house for a little while until more units got there, and when the teams went in and we did locate the suspect,” Steve Davis with Edgewater police said.
Samuel Lee Govea arrived at Denver Health several days ago with a gunshot wound to his leg. He was arrested there Sunday but walked out on his own an hour later. Deputies didn’t even notice he was gone.
Deputies were checking with doctors to see if he was well enough to move to the jail’s medical facility. They also had to check on other shackled inmates in the hospital. While they were doing that, Govea got away.
Govea is wanted for a long list of crimes, including failing to register as sex offender, burglary and assault. He was arrested at 7 p.m. after hospital staff became suspicious because of the gunshot wound. One hour later he’ was gone.
Govea was shackled to a hospital bed. While deputies were trying to decide if he was well enough to be moved to the jail’s medical facility, and while they were checking on other shackled inmates in the hospital, he ripped out any tubes and IVs. He then dismantled the hospital bed and escaped with his shackles still on.
Last fall a similar situation happened at a medical clinic in Golden. Jesus Aguilar made a run for it when his handcuffs were removed for a medical procedure. A Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed him. Since then, two deputies must now escort inmates to medical facilities instead of one. The sheriff’s office has also purchased non-metallic restraints similar to flex cuffs so that they can continue to wear them during medical procedures.
The Denver Sheriff’s Office says it will review its policies and procedures after Govea escaped.
Govea had warrants out for his arrest in Jefferson and Arapahoe counties as well as Lakewood. Police said they tracked him down after a Crime Stoppers tip. He was taken back to the hospital to get more treatment for his gunshot wound.
“When you have a criminal out on the street we rely on the public. There are only so many police officers in any community, and in Edgewater we only have a couple on each shift. So we do rely on the ears and eyes on the people,” Davis said.
In addition to the other charges, Govea now also faces a felony escape charge.