Ga. police ID comatose suspect by fingerprints

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 11:41 PM
Last updated 11:42 PM
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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A biometric fingerprinter helped law enforcement officials identify a comatose Savannah man, whose family refused to help police ID him after the car he was driving wrecked in nearby Pooler.

The car Terrance Rashawn Simmons, 20, wrecked was stolen, police say. The wreck left him in a coma.

Simmons had been released from Chatham County jail in February after serving more than five months for violating probation. Police say family members at Memorial University Medical Center and the passenger in Simmons' car would not help them figure out who he is.

Pooler police called in the Chatham County sheriff's office, whose officers brought a mobile biometric fingerprinting device to the hospital and ran Simmons' fingerprints through the Georgia Crime Information Center, the National Crime Information Center and the Department of Homeland Security's terror watch list. The search showed identified Simmons by fingerprints he'd given to Savannah Chatham Metro police and the Dodge County sheriff's office.

The Chatham County sheriff's office received the mobile ID device two weeks ago and uses a fixed biometric fingerprinter at the office's street operations division to check registered sex offenders and people brought in on an outstanding warrant. The office recently received a $22,000 homeland security grant to buy more biometric fingerprinters.

"Technology never ceases to amaze me," Sheriff Al St Lawrence is quoted as saying in a news release. "This is just another tool we have to check someone out. I think every law enforcement officer should have one."

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Sentinel 06/08/11 - 12:39 am
Obstruction charges should

Obstruction charges should apply. I doubt they will, but they should.

Cadence 06/08/11 - 07:36 am
I don't understand why the

I don't understand why the family won't help identify him (apparently the hospital knows?) What am I missing?

bdouglas 06/08/11 - 07:56 am
@Cadence I'd say they don't

@Cadence I'd say they don't want to help because they knew the car was stolen and it meant he'd be going to jail again when/if he wakes up. With the fact that he already had a record, too, they were probably afraid he had warrants out already for stuff they didn't know about. Obstruction of justice should be the charge for every one of them. Probably wouldn't be their first offenses either. My guess is that the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Street smart
Street smart 06/08/11 - 12:27 pm
I thank this efficient

I thank this efficient program that will led to more illegal immigrants arrest who are wanted for hideous crimes. So, the American Civil Liberty Union need to step off. The Secure Communities program was expanded by President Obama. This program is mandate by law that has the support of the Obama administration and the Congress.

So, why these 3 states(Massachusetts,Illinois,New York) reject Obama finger print plan, a few days ago, for Immigrants to participate in a finger print - sharing program key to the Obama administration's immigrant enforcement program. All three states that have refused to participate have large immigrant populations and are led by incomptent Democratic governors.

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