Bingham County deputies reevaluate prisoner restraints
Tonight, a girl is recovering from minor injuries after she jumped from the back of a Bingham County Deputies' car onto the Interstate.
The Bingham County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened between Rose and the Lava Beds around 11 a.m. Thursday. A deputy was driving the girl to the 3B detention center in Idaho Falls. The deputy said the girl took off her seat belt, and opened the passenger side window. He tried to slow down as quickly as possible, but she fell out of the window and hit the pavement.
Bingham County Deputies said this type of incident doesn't happen very often. Chief Deputy Jeff Gardener said sometimes people will pick the locks of the handcuffs, while others will kick out the windows of the vehicle.
He said the window was unlocked at the time of Thursday's incident, typically it's locked.
Gardener described the step by step process of how prisoners are moved.
"Anybody that gets transported we put shackles and belly chains on them, first we go through a pat down, next he'll place your hands in the handcuff on each side, he'll check for tightness and double lock them, that way they don't lock down too tight on your wrist," Gardener said.
After the shackles are locked the prisoner is placed into the backseat of the car. Deputies said the small amount of room in the backseat is why they're surprised the young girl was able to escape.
"Very little leg room with the door shut, plus your feet are shackled. There is almost little or no room to maneuver so it was quite the feat to get the window down and be able to go out of it," Gardener said.
Gardener said his office is always looking for better ways of restraint.
"When I started at the sheriff's office a lot of people were simply just transported with handcuffs and over the years we went to belly chains and leg irons and shackles. It's always evolving for the improvement of safety for everybody," he said.
Gardener also said Bingham County is now taking measures to un wire all of the windows in the vehicles. He said this would cause the back windows to not roll down at all.
The girl was taken to Bingham Memorial Hospital for treatment. She is expected to be okay.
Copyright 2013 NPG of Idaho. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.