Staff Negligence Leads To Mistaken Inmate Release - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/20/07

Staff Negligence Leads To Mistaken Inmate Release

Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff's Dept. Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Lubbock Sheriff David Gutierrez says a human error led to the accidental release of Joseph Luis Gonzales. 

Gonzales was being held on bonds totaling more than $210,000 for aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a public servant, evading arrest and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Those charges stem from an arrest back in February. Police say Gonzales stole a pickup truck, rammed a police car, and then tried to run over two other officers as he fled the scene. He later crashed the truck into another vehicle, injuring the other driver.

This isn't the first time an inmate has been released by a mistake. There were two mistaken releases in 2003 were because of computer error.

Sheriff Gutierrez says he's concerned for public safety with Joseph Luis Gonzales on the loose.

"I'm concerned about the safety of the community. I'm concerned that this individual is not where he should be, back behind bars," The Sheriff said.

The sheriff and his staff are searching for inmate Gonzales.

"It appears it was just human error, human negligence," Gutierrez explained.

You see there were two men named Joseph Luis Gonzales at the Lubbock County Jail during the time of the mistaken release. One Gonzales was supposed to be released while the other wasn't and the sheriff's staff got it wrong.

"This situation...it just appears that at every possible checkpoint we have in place was missed," Gutierrez said.

The sheriff believes that type of error is unacceptable.

"In law enforcement and detention, my staff has a higher accountability for their responsibilities. And this investigation isn't over with, looking for him or determining what exactly happened here," said Gutierrez.

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