Hospital's procedures under review after handcuffed inmate escapes

by: Ryan Young Updated:


ATLANTA - A woman under arrest got away from custody after saying she needed medical care.

Thursday around 5 p.m., Amy Diane Hightower escaped from the custody of a DeKalb County sheriff's detention officer at Grady Hospital. 

DeKalb Sheriff officials told Ch.2's Ryan Young that Hightower was cuffed to a hospital bed but slipped out of her handcuffs when she was left alone for a short time.

Atlanta police and DeKalb deputies searched for hours to find Hightower.

Police found out through tips that Hightower told an unsuspecting driver she needed help and was on the run from an abusive boyfriend.

Deputies and police arrested her about four hours later at a location on Hapeville Road in the city of Atlanta. 

She is now facing an additional charge of escape. 

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office told Young their professional standard office is currently investigating the circumstances that lead to Hightower being left alone to the point she was able to walk out of the hospital. 

Young asked Grady officials about the escape, and this is the statement they released to Channel 2 Action News.

"The securing and guarding of prisoner patients receiving care at Grady is the responsibility of the law enforcement agency which has custody of the prisoner. On the rare occasions when prisoners manage to escape from their guards, it is the policy of Grady security to immediately launch a search and quickly notify all law enforcement agencies in the immediate and surrounding areas. It is also Grady’s policy to work with the agency responsible for the prisoner to reinforce the hospital’s policies in an effort to prevent future escapes."

Channel 2 Action News

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