2007-11-30 / On Second Thought

Floyd's bus stop to freedom

Floyd is being transferred from a prison in Seattle to another prison in Great Falls, Montana. The bus stops at a pre- release center in Helena, and three inmates get off.

Later, when the prison bus arrives in Great Falls, guards do a head count and find one inmate is missing. It's Floyd. "Maybe he got off at Helena," one of the guards suggests.

A call to the Helena pre- release center confirms Floyd checked in there but walked out through the front door a few minutes later.

Floyd was transferred to Great Falls because he has several months to serve on his prison sentence. Helena is a center for inmates who are ready to be released.

Several sheriff's deputies arrive at the Helena pre- release center and search for Floyd. "He was on foot, so he can't be too far away," says Calvin, one of the deputies. Calvin stands on the street corner outside the front door of the pre- release center. Bored, he picks up a rock from the gutter and tosses it nonchalantly across the street into an overgrown vacant field.

Almost instantly the two deputies hear a scream: "Ouch, that hurt. You hit me on the head with a rock!" The voice is coming from behind a cluster of tall bushes. It's Floyd, the missing prisoner, hiding in the bushes. The deputies round him up and put him in the back of their patrol car. The skin on top of Floyd's head isn't broken, but there's a fairly large lump.

The deputies drive Floyd to Great Falls where they take him to the admissions area for booking. Floyd asks, "Don't I get to see a doctor about my head? Maybe you broke it?"

"Just be quiet and stay out of trouble," Deputy Calvin says. "Keep your nose clean, and you'll be back at the pre- release center in a few months - next time for real."

CallTheCops@sc.rr.com

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