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Relatives of OCCC inmate killed during escape to sue state for wrongful death

Published: May. 10, 2019 at 5:38 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Relatives of an Oahu Community Correctional Center inmate killed during an escape in February plan to sue the state for wrongful death.

Attorney Eric Seitz, who represents Maurice Arrisgado Jr.'s family, also alleged that the state failed to give Arrisgado adequate medical treatment after he was shot.

“What we know is that he ran away. We know that was somehow facilitated by carelessness of the staff. We know that he was shot in the back," said Seitz.

“We have also heard through the media that the bullets that were used to kill him were especially lethal and were not authorized for them to be using.”

[Read more: Deputy sheriffs, COs using guns and ammo that violate state policy]

The Department of Public Safety declined comment Thursday, citing the potential litigation.

But previously it said guards gave Arrisgado ample warning.

“Repeated orders to stop and surrender continue to be directed at the still fleeing inmate to no avail and whereupon a single shot is fired through his upper torso," state Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said, during a news conference on March 2.

Arrisgado, who had a prior theft conviction, was in OCCC after he allegedly stabbed a plainclothes police officer.

When an adult corrections officer accidentally left an exterior door ajar, he bolted.

Sources said that same guard chased him out the door and caught up with him near St. Anthony’s Church, where he shot him in the back.

But instead of calling an ambulance for immediate treatment, Arrisgado’s attorney says ACOs took him to OCCC’s infirmary.

“Somebody gets shot and is seriously wounded, you call an ambulance and you take that person immediately to a critical care center and the prison is not a critical care center," said Seitz.

The state Attorney General’s Office is now investigating.

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