Get Liberated ! - not regulated 

But it's against policy

Queensbury -- Officer to be disciplined for failing to keep eye on woman

By ALAN WECHSLER, Staff writer
First published: Saturday, June 15, 2002

When a grand larceny suspect said she had to use the bathroom Friday morning in the Warren County Sheriff's Department, Investigator Douglas P. David didn't think much of it.

After all, 35-year-old suspect Deborah J. Hittinger of South Glens Falls already had been arraigned and fingerprinted. The woman had a long history with the Police Department, officials said, and her relatives were expected to be coming soon with bail.

But Hittinger apparently couldn't wait to leave. And now David faces internal discipline charges for failing to pay attention when Hittinger left the public restroom, walked out the front door and drove away in her green 1993 Chevy Corsica, police said.

Hittinger allegedly drove to a Malone motel where State Police discovered her Friday afternoon. They arrested her on charges there, and she was sent to the Franklin County jail.

Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said a second-degree escape warrant has been forwarded to Franklin County, where she will be arrested.

The story began Friday morning when police called Hittinger at home and asked her to turn herself in on charges that she bounced $7,000 worth of checks at The Bon-Ton Store in Aviation Mall. Hittinger came in and was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony. She was arraigned in Queensbury Town Court and sent to Warren County Jail in lieu of $3,000 cash bail.

While being processed at the sheriff's headquarters, she asked to go to the bathroom. When finished, she suddenly said she felt sick and ran back into the bathroom, located next to the front door.

David, a 14-year department veteran, waited in a lounge next door. Apparently, he didn't notice her slipping out of the bathroom and out of the building. By the time he sent a female employee to check on her, she was long gone.

David will face an internal review for violating policy. The punishment could range from a letter to loss of pay, Cleveland said.

"The policy is very clear,'' Cleveland said. "If this person is in your custody, you have to keep an eye on them.''...

Submitted by: Werner Hetzner 

Source: Albany Times Union




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