Shackled Man Who Dismantled Hospital Bed Recaptured

An escaped prisoner with a gunshot wound who fled from a hospital on Sunday night was recaptured Monday evening after a tip.


DENVER -- An escaped prisoner with a gunshot wound who fled from a hospital on Sunday night was recaptured Monday evening after a tip to Crime Stoppers.

Capt. Frank Gale, of the Denver Sheriff’s Department, told 7NEWS that Samuel Lee Govea, 22, was recaptured in Edgewater, after a tip to Crimestoppers. It happened about 5:30 p.m., Gale said.

Goveo had been admitted to Denver Health Medical Center as a regular patient several days ago.

Gale said Govea was being treated for a gunshot wound, when authorities learned that he was wanted for felony burglary, assault, menacing, criminal mischief, violation of a protection order and failure to register as a sex offender.

Gale said that once police learned that Govea was wanted, they made contact with him, and then placed a hold on him through the sheriff’s office at Denver Health.

“Deputies responded and shackled Govea to his hospital bed,” Gale said. “We were in the process of trying to get him transferred (from his regular room) to the more secure ‘jail ward’ when he pulled out his IVs, dismantled the bed and escaped.”

Gale said they can’t automatically transfer a patient to the jail ward -- they have to get medical clearance.

He said they were working on the paperwork and that Govea had only been shackled to his bed for an hour when he escaped.

When asked if they posted a guard outside his door, Gale said, “We don’t have the staff to post a deputy outside the door of every patient in custody.”

He said on a weekend there might be 10 to 14 patients in custody at Denver Health.

“We have 2 or 3 deputies stationed in the emergency room and a few more in the jail ward,” he said.

At about 7:40 p.m., police and sheriff's deputies were setting up a perimeter around the hospital and searching nearby Sunken Gardens Park at Delaware Street and West Eighth Avenue, according to police radio traffic.

Govea, whose nickname is "Diablo," is described as a 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 180 pounds with a short, brown-haired buzz cut, police said. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and hospital-issued pants, according to police radio traffic.

Police had asked anyone with information about Govea to call Crime Stoppers.

"This is proof that Crimestoppers works the way it is supposed to," Gale told 7NEWS Monday evening.

Copyright 2012 by TheDenverChannel.com. All rights reserved.

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