Overtime concerns force sheriffs to leave fugitive unguarded at hospital - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Overtime concerns force sheriffs to leave fugitive unguarded at hospital

Royce Dulmage Royce Dulmage
Sen. Will Espero Sen. Will Espero

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii News Now has learned sheriff's deputies on Wednesday were forced to leave a fugitive unguarded at an Oahu hospital because of concerns about overtime.

Hawaii's top sheriff says his deputies sought medical help for the parolee, who was wanted on a warrant, because she was on drugs and incoherent. He says they didn't stay with the fugitive because "the present policy is no overtime."

Senate public safety chair Will Espero says he's highly concerned that a woman, wanted for violating her parole, was left unguarded while she was receiving treatment at the Queen's Medical Center.

"It seems very strange that this happened. It should not have happened in my opinion," Espero said. "Definitely seems like some type of breach of policy and procedure."

The Hawaii Paroling Authority says Royce Dulmage, 49, was released from the Women's Community Correctional Center just last month, after serving time for theft, credit card and computer fraud, and drug offenses.

Ten days ago, a re-take warrant was issued, meaning she would have to go straight back to prison for violating her parole.

Sheriff's deputies located Dulmage near Borthwick Mortuary in Honolulu's Chinatown Wednesday. They say they took her to the hospital, instead of prison, because she needed medical attention.

Hawaii News Now has learned when doctors decided to admit her, the deputies left.

"The Department of Public Safety needs to re-look at the situation because there may have been concerns that overtime was driving these decisions," Espero said.

State Sheriff Frank Dela Rosa said by phone, "Normally we would remain there with the custody. We are not in good economic times. We can't justify the overtime."

He added, "We don't see her as a danger to the community."

"A felon, someone's who's violated parole where a warrant has been issued, is obviously a person that needs to be in custody," Espero said.

Officials with the Queen's Medical Center said, "Our primary concern is treating our patients and securing their safe discharge."

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