Macon Police Say Accused Burglar Back in Custody

4:33 AM, Feb 20, 2010   |    comments
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Macon police say an alleged burglar who was released and never booked into the county jail last week is back in custody.

Deputy Chief Henderson Carswell say Lonnie Clark,53, was re-arrested Friday afternoon.

According to the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center's inmate information website, Lonnie Clark was in jail Friday night.

Meanwhile,  Macon police said they've started an internal affairs investigation into why Clark was released from custody in the first place.

Capt Jimmy Barbee, head of the police internal affairs department, said Friday morning that they've verified that Clark was never taken for medical treatment after being turned away from the jail for having high blood pressure.

The Sheriff's office says they follow national guidelines that say suspects can't be admitted to jail if their blood pressure is 200/130 or higher because that means a potential stroke.  They say Clark met that standard.

State law says they can refuse a suspect who needs medical treatment for  "obvious physical injuries or conditions of an emergency nature... it shall be the responsibility of the arresting agency to take the individual to a health care facility or health care provider in order to secure a medical release."

The possibility of Clark having a stroke falls under "emergency nature."

Macon police say the arresting officer did not take him to the Medical Center as required.

"We will look into whether or not the officer contacted his supervisor and what decisions were made at that time," said Barbee.

Macon police say they arrested Clark for burglarizing Bateman and Wade's store Saturday.

Clark was arrested and taken to the Bibb County jail but a police report says the jail would not accept him because he had high blood pressure.

"As far as I know, he was brought to the LEC, an officer was given the paperwork to take him to the medical center, and what happened to him after that I'm not sure," said Bibb County Chief Deputy Russell Nelson.

He was never booked in the jail but left with an officer, said Nelson.

Once or twice a week the jail refuses a suspect based on medical screening, said Nelson. When that happens the arresting agency should take them to get treatment and then bring them back to the jail after they have got medical clearance.

But some say that can be a challenge because they may have to get an arrest warrant, depending on how long the suspect is under medical care.

In the case of a violent crime, she said, the officer would probably stay with the suspect until they can be booked.


"Finding the defendant again, and also finding that defendent in a condition where he can be medically admitted to the jail," said State Solicitor Rebecca Grist.

She says how long they stay free largely depends on the officers working the case.

Macon police say a warrant was filed for Lonnie Clark on Thursday afternoon, after 13WMAZ asked questions about the case.

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