Prisoner escapes from public hospital

- police fire shots at him

A suspect in a robbery who was under police guard at the Georgetown Public Hospital yesterday managed to escape despite being shot at several times.

The escapee has been identified as 19-year-old Edgar Blackman of Tucville who was admitted to the institution on November 26 with injuries to the head. He had allegedly robbed a woman in Sophia and was caught by residents and badly beaten.

Persons at the hospital recalled that around 3.45 pm the man was seen running out of the Male Surgical Ward which is located a short distance away from the High Dependency Unity (HDU), Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Children’s ward, with a uniformed policeman in hot pursuit. As Blackman ran down the stairs the rank discharged four rounds at him, all of which struck a window located above the staircase.

According to what Stabroek News was told Blackman jumped off the staircase and ran through the open door. He then exited the compound through the hospital’s East Street entrance which is supposed to be manned by the hospital’s internal security staff. It is unclear if someone was at the post at the time and if so if any attempt was made to stop Blackman.

Blackman then ran up East Street, turned into New Market Street and then into Cummings Street before disappearing.

When the rank returned to the hospital he said that the man had managed to escape. When Stabroek News visited the hospital three bullet holes were evident in the glass of the window. From all indications the fourth bullet struck the side of the window.

A source said that the man had undergone surgery for his wounds which was the reason why he was still in that section of the hospital. The source said that he had been discharged earlier in the day.

Persons at the hospital said that after the gunshots rang out they had to duck for cover and they queried why Blackman was not in handcuffs.  Staff said that this is the first time there had been an incident at the hospital where the police had shot behind a prisoner.

This newspaper was told that in conformity with the usual protocol, the police will launch an investigation into the escape.

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