Man’s naked run from hospital underscores security gaps in medical stops

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Man taken to hospital after running from police in Fairfield Twp

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A man’s breakout from a Hamilton emergency room after he was captured by police in a separate foot chase underlined the communication needed between officers and hospital staff during treatment for suspects before they go to jail, officials said.

Verlon Martin, 33, of Hamilton, fled the emergency room at Bethesda Butler Hospital on Monday after he was transported there for injuries allegedly sustained during a foot chase with Fairfield Twp. officers around the Five Points area. Police said he was jumping multiple fences and appeared to sustain a hand injury.

When police officers arrest a suspect who needs medical treatment before a transport to jail, they don’t always stay to wait for that treatment.

“Sometimes it happens and they stick around,” said Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey.

INITIAL STORY: Naked man captured by police after fleeing hospital, his second foot chase of the day

Police quickly caught Martin, who ditched his hospital gown as he ran into a wooded area across the street from the hospital. He did not face additional charges for running from the hospital, police said.

Before the trip to the hospital, he was charged on a pair of misdemeanors — obstruction of justice (for running) and possession of a drug abuse instrument (a hypodermic needle). He was also arrested on multiple warrants out of Hamilton city and Butler County courts.

Caption
Verlon Ray Martin, from Hamilton, was captured twice by police Monday, Feb. 25, once after a foot chase with Fairfield Twp. police and another after fleeing the hospital, while nude, where he had been taken. Martin was initially approached by an officer just after 3 p.m. in the 2000 block of Exeter Street in the township and gave a fake name. He ran but was apprehended by Fairfield Township police a short time later. He was then taken to Bethesda Butler Hospital by ambulance. At around 3:45 p.m., Martin, 33, who was being watched by hospital security, fled from Bethesda Butler Hospital on Hamilton-Mason Road wearing only his hospital gown, said Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Jamie Mays. Martin ditched his hospital gown as he fled toward a wooded area across the street and was naked when arrested, he said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Verlon Ray Martin, from Hamilton, was captured twice by police Monday, Feb. 25, once after a foot chase with Fairfield Twp. police and another after fleeing the hospital, while nude, where he had been taken. Martin was initially approached by an officer just after 3 p.m. in the 2000 block of Exeter Street in the township and gave a fake name. He ran but was apprehended by Fairfield Township police a short time later. He was then taken to Bethesda Butler Hospital by ambulance. At around 3:45 p.m., Martin, 33, who was being watched by hospital security, fled from Bethesda Butler Hospital on Hamilton-Mason Road wearing only his hospital gown, said Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Jamie Mays. Martin ditched his hospital gown as he fled toward a wooded area across the street and was naked when arrested, he said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Verlon Ray Martin, from Hamilton, was captured twice by police Monday, Feb. 25, once after a foot chase with Fairfield Twp. police and another after fleeing the hospital, while nude, where he had been taken. Martin was initially approached by an officer just after 3 p.m. in the 2000 block of Exeter Street in the township and gave a fake name. He ran but was apprehended by Fairfield Township police a short time later. He was then taken to Bethesda Butler Hospital by ambulance. At around 3:45 p.m., Martin, 33, who was being watched by hospital security, fled from Bethesda Butler Hospital on Hamilton-Mason Road wearing only his hospital gown, said Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Jamie Mays. Martin ditched his hospital gown as he fled toward a wooded area across the street and was naked when arrested, he said. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Martin is being held without bond in the Butler County Jail. He has multiple charges out of Hamilton Municipal Court that span several years, including charges of failure to comply with a court order and a probation violation, according to court records.

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McCroskey said it’s generally a courtesy for hospitals to call police when discharging a patient who is wanted, and they usually comply with the requests. Occasionally, he said, nurses and staff delay discharge in order for police to arrive.

Getting to the hospital depends on staffing and call volume of the day.

“It’s like anything else, our staffing is what it is,” he said. “If we’re tied up on things, it might be a while. If we can get there as soon as we can, we will. But unfortunately we can’t always sit with them for hours and hours while tests are ran for a non-violent offender.”

They will wait if the suspect allegedly committed a violent offense or felony. But officers must take a suspect to the hospital if they complain of a medical issue, “whether it’s real or not.”

McCroskey said those with warrants seemingly “have figured it out” and will hope officers won’t stick around when they are discharged.

There are legitimate issues, McCroskey said, and those need to be looked at “but a lot of people do that to keep from going to jail or to delay going to jail. They have to be medically cleared because we don’t want something to happen to them and then we’re liable.”

Bethesda Butler Hospital is a subsidiary of TriHealth, and system spokesperson Michael Mattingly said staff “treated (Martin) just like any other patient,” and TriHealth security officers were at the hospital. He said police did ask staff call once he was treated and to be discharged.

But before treatment was complete, Martin “decided to leave the emergency room” and was quickly apprehended by police, he said.

“We are working with police to review the situation and, if necessary, develop specific procedures regarding patients hand-offs,” Mattingly said.

Martin will appear on Wednesday, March 6 in Hamilton Municipal Court on warrants. He will eventually appear in Butler County Juvenile Court for failure to pay child support and failure to appear, according to court records.


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