How a Bent County inmate escaped hospital, then arrested four days later in New Mexico

Ronald Caillier was considered armed and extremely dangerous
Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 21:45:32-04

LA JUNTA, Colo. — Bent County inmate Ronald Caillier escaped from the Arkansas Valley Regional Hospital in La Junta Thursday night. The Bent County Sheriff, Jake Six, said Caillier was considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Cailler was arrested at a hospital in Raton, New Mexico four days later, according to the Otero County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Six said Caillier hurt a deputy to get away after some medical tests. He said Caillier wasn't handcuffed to the gurney when he escaped.

"One deputy that was in the room with him basically was overpowered by Mr. Caillier, she did chase him into the hallway, they had another little altercation," said Sheriff Six.

"Most of the time the deputy sheriffs do handcuff inmates to the gurney and I think we're just going to make sure that's happening every time," said the hospital's CEO, Andy Flemer.

Flemer said a security officer couldn't catch him either.

"[Caillier ran] through our main ER doors, then ran across the helipad and up through the brush behind the hospital and into a neighborhood and disappeared," said Flemer.

Sheriff Six believes Caillier then stole a white minivan with a gun in it. That's when the La Junta Police Department alerted the community about the danger.

"Just off of his initial charges of burglary and assault, we put out that (he was) dangerous," said Sheriff Six.

The hospital went on lockdown as law enforcement patrolled the area.

"Myself and our captain were up there literally all night just cruising making sure the community of La Junta was safe because it was our inmate," said Sheriff Six.

In the future, Sheriff Six said they plan to increase security during emergency transport by sending more deputies in the ambulance and guarding the hospital's only exit.

Flemer said the hospital sees an inmate nearly every day, but he has never had one escape since he started in 2022.


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