Washington inmate switched IDs, accidentally released

Michael Johnson (Provided Photo/Clark County Sheriff's Department)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Law enforcement officials are still looking for Michael Diontae Johnson, who escaped from the Clark County jail Thursday by switching identities with a fellow inmate.

While the manhunt continues, many are asking how this mistaken release could’ve happened.

Dougher says Johnson switched ID wristbands with Laquon Boggs, a fellow inmate who was due for release. He then put on the other guy’s clothes, switched cells, signed the other man’s name and walked out the door.Paul Dougher, the day operations commander at the jail, admits Johnson had to slip by a few people.

“Clearly he got by several people to do that so he had information from the other inmate,” says Dougher.

According to Dougher, the release protocol starts with a deputy who checks the inmates out of the living unit by cross checking personal information. That deputy then sends the inmate to the property unit that does the releases.

“Once down in the release unit, that deputy has several protocols they’ll do,” Dougher tells KOIN 6 News. “They again will do some type of personal information, they’ll do a signature and then they’ll do a mugshot check, so they will be looking at the mugshot while they look at the person.”

Johnson definitely had good timing. Jail officials say they were 6 weeks away from implementing a biometrics screening tool aimed at preventing similar escapes. The tool will collect inmates’ fingerprints when they’re booked into jail and match them before they are released.

“So when they’re released it has to be those two fingers to get released,” Dougher says.

 

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