BERKELEY COUNTY, SC July 18 2017
A Berkeley County Sheriff's Office deputy has been fired after an inmate, who is now in custody, escaped from a hospital.
Authorities say 28-year-old Mariel A. Watson was arrested on Monday morning after his escape from Trident Hospital Sunday afternoon.
Authorities say Watson was captured by BCSO deputies and the US Marshal's Office who found him on Treeland Drive near I-26 and College Park Road at 2:20 a.m.
The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office did not identify the deputy who was let go, but Lewis said she did not follow procedures at the time of Watson's escape on Sunday.
"[She] essentially allowed the arrestee, unhandcuffed and unshackled, to escape," Lewis said during a press conference Monday afternoon. "At this point after looking at it and examining the facts of it, that deputy is being terminated."
The sheriff said the deputy failed to follow training, and Lewis apologized to the public for the incident.
"We're dealing with human beings, and people make mistakes," Lewis said."But when we have someone in custody, we don't have the luxury to have those mistakes."
Watson was originally arrested by the Goose Creek Police Department on unrelated charges and was being held by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office since Friday at Trident Hospital.
Lewis said Watson was at the hospital because he was suspected of swallowing a narcotic.
"He had to go through a medical procedure and get an examination," Lewis said.
Lewis said the deputy was aware of the escape within a few minutes.
"The deputy realized cause she ran out the room and observed him down the hall," Lewis said."She gave pursuit and notified the hospital security. She ran until she lost him. She then ran back to the room and made notifications to her supervisor and dispatchers."
Lewis cited the media and citizens for Watson's capture after the sheriff's office received tips.
Watson was originally being held on three bench warrants from the Goose Creek Police Department. There are additional charges pending involving his escape from the hospital.
The bench warrants were for giving false information, resisting arrest and unlawful carrying of a firearm.
Watson is also wanted out of Georgia for failure to register as a sex offender in that state.