MIAMI — A pair of Integris Miami Hospital workers were instrumental in the apprehension of Ottawa County Jail inmate Justin Eby Thursday.
Integris Miami security guard Felipe Alaniz and maintenance tech Kyle Long nabbed Eby a short distance from the hospital.
Eby and Jerry Nichols fled custody at the Ottawa County Jail Thursday morning, reportedly getting away through a door that had a lock malfunction.
Long let Alaniz know he had seen a “suspicious person” running across the Integris parking lot.
“I was already standing out there and shortly thereafter, the two inmates came running out of the alleyway,” Alaniz said. “That’s when I recognized one of them.”
He jumped into a car, picked up Long — who notified authorities that they had spotted the escapees — and started pursuit a short distance along 2nd Northwest near the hospital.
“I jumped out of my vehicle and was trying to take them into custody, but they both separated,” Alaniz said. “One ran in front of a house (in the 300 block of E Street Northwest) and the other jumped over a fence. That’s the one I was chasing. He jumped over the other side of the fence. I went through the alley (Eby) and pursued him as he was going into the back of someone’s residence.”
Alaniz said at gunpoint, he ordered Eby off the steps and to the ground while assisted by Miami Police Department officer Sarah Berry.
Eby was then handcuffed and taken away.
“At the time, I didn’t know, other than what was given to us, that he was armed and dangerous and his priors (prior charges),” Alaniz said. “My first instinct really was to wait for backup and hold him there. I could see everything. He didn’t have anything in his hands at that time, but it later was discovered that he had a large homemade weapon that he had dropped when I first made contact.”
“I am glad Kyle was there, because he really helped me out,” Alaniz said. “I hope I don’t have to do this all over again, but I am ready.
Alaniz is a C.L.E.E.T. certified police officer, a licensed armed security guard and is a reserve officer at Grove.
Long, who had been on the job at Integris Miami only about a month, is a volunteer fireman at Commerce.
“I just wanted to make sure that we didn’t get jumped — that was my only concern,” said Long, who has had some police training.