Don 't let these guys walk

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Adults are supposed to learn better than this.

Especially those adults responsible for protecting us.

In June, a suspected killer was allowed to walk out of an Augusta hospital because Aiken County, S.C., authorities hadn't officially arrested him -- most likely in an effort to avoid paying for his hospital care.

As we said then, it's nice to see public officials try to cut costs -- but in this case, not at the expense of public safety. MCG Health says it can't detain patients if they're not under arrest -- period. Nor do they feel that under federal law they can notify authorities when a patient is discharged.

Law enforcement types don't have to agree with that policy. But they have to live with it.

So if you want a guy treated like he's under arrest, arrest him. Don't expect nurses and doctors to do it. That's not their line of work.

What did we learn from that incident? Nothing.

Again this past week a criminal suspect left MCG Health. This one, from Edgefield County, S.C., was suspected of sexual assault on a minor.

Edgefield Police blame the hospital. They claim federal law allows hospitals to warn police when suspects leave a hospital.

We don't know who's right about that, but we do know what the hospital's current policy is -- and so should every lawman in the two-state by now.

What's it going to take? A beer at the White House? Area hospitals and law enforcement agencies need to get their acts together, for our sake.

Comments (9) Add comment
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opiner
2
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opiner 08/04/09 - 04:05 am
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It's not a matte of trying to

It's not a matte of trying to save money, it's more like passing the buck. Law enforcement is the job of the police, not the hospital.

Riverman1
93859
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Riverman1 08/04/09 - 04:28 am
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Note to editor (my nitpicking

Note to editor (my nitpicking grammatical criticism today): "They claim federal law allows hospitals to warn police when suspects leave a hospital." That sentence is not logical. You can't expect all hospitals to warn police when suspects leave "A" hospital. I would have ended it at "leave." Then there is this sentece: "We don't know who's right about that, but we do know what the hospital's current policy is -- and so should every lawman in the two-state by now." I thought we were talking about all hospitals' policies, not just one? And who uses "two-state" by itself around here? I would have said "two-state area" or better still, "CSRA" which is what is usually done.

Riverman1
93859
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Riverman1 08/04/09 - 04:32 am
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The whole idea of trying to

The whole idea of trying to get hospitals in an adjoining state to treat the people, pending arrest, reminds me of Mayor Bloomberg of NYC flying poor families to GA and SC. Something is not right about it. Should Richmond County take theirs to Aiken Regional Hospital?

concernednative
28
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concernednative 08/04/09 - 05:40 am
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This is simply a failure of

This is simply a failure of law enforcement nothing else. The hospitals are not trained to handle law enforcement issues. Do the police want the hospital sending them patients for surgery.

lulu
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lulu 08/04/09 - 08:29 am
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I would like to see AC do an

I would like to see AC do an in depth investigation on who pays for SC detainee's left at MCG.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 08/04/09 - 08:31 am
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It's real easy to blame law
Unpublished

It's real easy to blame law enforcement. It they had restrained this guy while in the hospital, the ACLU would have been them like ugly on an ape. If you want law enforcement to restrain criminals while in the hospital, get the ACLU off their backs!!

curly123053
5378
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curly123053 08/04/09 - 08:41 am
0
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It would seem that if a

It would seem that if a suspect was served a warrant after their admittance into a hospital, then the city or county issuing the warrant should not be liable to the suspect's medical bills. That is just the way it seems to me.
The Edgefield suspect was injured in a crash of his own doing, which to me made him liable for his own medical bills. Then to have a warrant served after the fact of getting involved in the crash should not make the City of Edgefield liable for his medical care for the injuries her received. I say serve the warrant and get him under the watchful eyes of proper law enforcement and leave the nurses out of it.

jboy
0
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jboy 08/04/09 - 09:37 am
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Carry them somewhere in

Carry them somewhere in Carolina.

Riverman1
93859
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Riverman1 08/04/09 - 10:56 am
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Aiken Regional dropped their

Aiken Regional dropped their trauma center designation because many of those patients were money losing ones without insurance. I'm sure there is a similar reason why those in police custody are not taken there now. As Lulu says, there should be an investigation into the practice of taking these people, pending arrest, out of state to MCG. Why not Aiken Regional, trauma center or not?

DEVGRU
0
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DEVGRU 08/04/09 - 05:16 pm
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What Edgefield County was

What Edgefield County was doing was attempting to place all of the liability on MCG.

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