DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Committing crimes when they should have been locked up. Two inmates mistakenly released by Dallas police are accused of committing a violent crime three days later.
The victim talked to CBS 11 News and said he would rather the men had been locked up in the Dallas County Jail than out on the streets, robbing him.
Miguel Casas was leaving work Sunday when two men confronted him in downtown Dallas and demanded his cell phone.
According to Casas, one man, later identified as Lavatray Polk, threatened him with a knife as long as his arm.
“I thought they were going to stab me and kill me,” he said.
Polk and another man, believed to be his accomplice, never should have been on the street that night. Less than a week earlier, Dallas police had booked both into the Dallas County Jail for allegedly breaking into a car.
The burglary cases of both suspects became tied up in the department’s transition to a new computer system. Because of that, the cases were never assigned to a detective and never filed with the district attorney’s office within the mandatory 72 hours.
After three days, the jail was forced to release both suspects.
Dallas police blame similar issues with the computer system for the unintended release of more than 20 inmates so far this month.
“It’s wrong to let people like that out, free, around the rest of us who are just working or hanging out,” Casas said frustrated.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t end with Casas being harmed with that long knife. After the two suspects got away with his cell phone, Casas followed them and flagged down a police officer. Polk was arrested but the second suspect is still at large.
Richard Todd, president of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, told CBS 11, “It’s a shame it happened. We’ve got a system now that’s not easier or more efficient. It’s more complicated.”
But officials with DPD say once they get past this difficult transition period, the new computer system will be big improvement from what they had.
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