Howard County, Md. - An inmate who was convicted of firing at a Delaware police officer's home and was accused of shooting at the homes of police in Wicomico County, Maryland was able to escape law enforcement custody on Friday.
He was still on the loose in Howard County as of Friday night where a search was underway.
David Watson is supposed to be serving 106 years behind bars, but now he is on the loose.
“It's our understanding that he's currently serving a sentence of more than 100 years in Delaware on attempted murder and related charges,” said Sherry Llewellyn of the Howard County Police Dept. “In addition, he's currently facing charges in Wicomico County. It's on those charges that drove to Delaware, transported him back to Wicomico yesterday in preparation for an evaluation this morning that was court ordered for his charges in Maryland. That's why he was coming here this morning, that was supposed to happen at 10 o'clock. He escaped before they even made it into the hospital or even made contact with the hospital from the parking lot area.”
The 28-year-old got away from members of the Wicomico County Detention Center moments after they pulled in to a state mental hospital in Jessup.
”A guard opened a door after the van stopped in the parking lot and Watson pushed the guard to the ground and ran into the woods. We did find handcuffs and a waist chain it's unconfirmed at this time whether or not he was wearing leg shackles when he was secured,” said Llewellyn.
In a statement, the Wicomico County Department of Corrections Director George Kaloroumakis said, "Based on a preliminary review, our officers followed regulations and procedures. However, the matter is being fully investigated. At such time as we know what happened we will take appropriate measures."
"He was wearing all white clothing,” said Llewellyn. “We did find a couple articles of clothing in the woods so we don't know what he's wearing at this time. There've been no sightings of him. We don't believe he's armed. Guards carry weapons but had them locked up before opening the van door. We don't know if it was planned in advance or impulsive."
While the search continues in Howard County, around the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital, members of the law enforcement community who worked to put Watson behind bars are reminded of the crimes he allegedly committed in Wicomico County.
“He is accused of shooting at the residences of law enforcement officers,” said Lt. Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office. “He shot at least three residences that we know of, one belonging to one of our own deputies, one belonging to an allied police dept, and another one from an adjacent county who was living here in this county."
Lieutenant Robinson who visited our station on Friday afternoon says that Watson's crime and alleged crimes made the law enforcement community uneasy.
“It's very concerning that somebody would do that kind of activity and put somebody, and not just the deputy, but the deputy's family in danger. We were kind of on edge for a while,” said Lt. Robinson.
The lieutenant and many others on Delmarva are hoping Watson is captured quickly and they are genuinely concerned for the people of Howard County and the surrounding area.
“I think there is concern anytime, anybody is potentially loose like this,” said Lt. Robinson.
Officials do not believe Watson is armed. They say guards in the van did have weapons, but their guns were secured before the doors were opened.
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