MEDINA — A Medina County Jail inmate, who fled while on medical furlough Sunday, may have called for an Uber or a Lyft to take him to Newburgh Heights.
PHOTO PROVIDED Enlarge
That is the theory of county sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ken Baca.
“He would have needed a cellphone and a credit card,” Baca said Tuesday.
Joshua D. Bragg, 26, of the 6800 block of Lafayette Road, Medina, was being treated at Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital when doctors decided he needed further treatment at Akron General Medical Center, Baca said.
Bragg was placed in a LifeCare Medical Services ambulance to be transported to Akron, but he decided to flee Sunday night.
Ambulance workers asked him not to leave, but they didn’t attempt to physically restrain him. Baca said the ambulance workers handled the situation correctly.
Once Bragg left, they alerted security at the hospital, which called the sheriff’s office.
Law enforcement officers flooded the area around the hospital, 1000 E. Washington St., looking for the inmate without success.
His getaway could have been arranged in advance, Baca said.
Users need to create an account with a credit card or PayPal before requesting a ride with Uber or Lyft. Users also must have the app of the ridesharing service on their phone.
After Bragg fled, he made his way to Newburgh Heights in Cuyahoga County. A tip from a relative alerted to authorities to Bragg’s whereabouts, and he was picked up by Newburgh police at about 11 p.m. Sunday and transported to Medina County Jail, where he remained Tuesday.
Bragg was missing about five hours, the sheriff’s office said.
Baca said the inmate wasn’t technically under the custody of the sheriff’s office or any other law enforcement agency while on furlough.
He said there have been 17 furloughs granted to inmates thus far this year and 25 in 2017.
None of those inmates failed to return in their allotted time, normally an hour after they are discharged from medical treatment.
However, Baca said it has happened in the past.
Baca said Bragg will be charged with escape on top of his original drug charge. Bragg was being held on $10,000 bond on a cocaine possession charge, a fifth-degree felony. He was indicted by a grand jury June 27.
“I’m confident there will be no more (medical) furloughs for him,” Baca said on Monday.
“He’ll be kept under guard at all times. He lost integrity with the courts.”