Santa Cruz Sheriff: We'll Reevaluate Medical Transports - NBC Bay Area

Santa Cruz Sheriff: We'll Reevaluate Medical Transports



    Santa Cruz Sheriff: We'll Reevaluate Medical Transports
    Santa Cruz Sheriff's Dept.
    Inmate Escapes Deputy After MRI Scan At Dominican Hospital

    A day after an inmate escaped after overpowering a deputy and then using a stun gun on her during a medical transport, the Santa Cruz County sheriff said his department will need to reevaluate some of its procedures.

    Sheriff Phil Wowak spoke with the media Tuesday morning concerning the escape of Maurice Ainsworth, 24, who was taken to Dominican Hospital for an MRI scan.

    Ainsworth, who was arrested after being holed up in an unoccupied house for more than four hours, is 6 feet 7 inches tall and 275 pounds. The 12-year veteran female deputy who escorted him to the hospital for an MRI scan is 5 feet 3 inches tall, Action News learned Tuesday.

    "We believed that the system we had in place was appropriate at the time. Now, we are looking at it and saying we need to reevaluate that and potentially have two deputies in a medical transports," Wowak said.

    Wowak said his department will need to consider staffing concerns before committing to having two deputies conduct medical transports.

    The injured deputy, who was stunned with a Taser in the head, punched and kicked by Ainsworth before her .40-caliber handgun was taken, was released from the hospital after she was treated.

    Ainsworth is back in the hospital after consuming prescription pills at the home he was holed up in near Salisbury and Brookwood drives.

    During the standoff with police and deputies, Harbor High School and DeLaveaga Elementary School were on lockdown.

    Ainsworth faces new charges, including attempted murder, battery on an officer, fleeing an officer and taking hostages.

    Wowak has scheduled a second news conference for 2 p.m. where more details of the case are expected to be revealed.

    Ainsworth has a long criminal history, court records show. In June 2008 he was convicted of felony burglary, auto theft and evading a peace officer with injury. In April 2009, court records show he was also convicted of kidnapping, robbery, felony burglary and other charges.

    Ainsworth had been in jail awaiting trial on charges that he committed a home invasion robbery in March 2009. He and co-defendant Jyler Raines are accused of breaking into a Los Gatos home with three people inside and stealing jewelry, wallets, bank information and a car.

    Ainsworth was scheduled to go to trial Jan. 10 on the felony counts.

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