Salt Lake constable Don Smith's run-in with a county jail inmate bent on escape Wednesday left his 70-year-old body a bit bruised and sore.
But that wasn't his most serious injury."Pride is the only thing that is hurt," said Smith, who has been a constable for 45 years.
'The minute I released (the cuff) he popped it lose and kicked his feet out, sat up on the seat and knocked me over backwards," said Smith, who has been a constable for 45 years. "He's about 6-feet-2 and solid. I'm only 5-(foot)-8 and probably a little bit older."
Smith's prisoner, 37-year-old Joseph T. Marquez, who he was transporting back to the Salt Lake County Jail after an appearence at the Draper City Court, was complaining that the tight handcuffs were aggravating an open sore onhis wrist.
Smith pulled over at a Flying J, 100 W. 12300 South, and loosened the cuffs to give Marquez some relief. That's when Marquez pushed him down, grabbed the car keys from Smith's pocket and fled.
Smith tried to pick himself up and grab a can of mace from the car but was too slow for the younger Marquez.
"He jumped the curb and took off," said Smith, who does not carry a gun even though as a constable he legally could.
It is the second time in five years that a prisoner has given Smith the slip.
"Every officer, sometime in their life, is going to experience something like this," Smith said. "It's a judgment call each time. Both times I've tried to do the humanitarian thing, but I've learned you can't give 'em anything."
Four hours after Marquez disappered, he was rearrested Wednesday night by Salt Lake Police Sgt. Jed Hurst, who said he had a pretty good idea that Marquez would show up at 978 E. Princeton Ave. (1125 South).
"He told me he'd been living with an aunt," he said. "We sent a couple police officers in plain clothes and a plain car to see if he would show up."
Hurst said officers eventually found him hiding in the back yard and still wearing the leg shackles.
Marquez had been taken to Draper City Court in error. The jail was supposed to have released another man, also named Joseph Marquez, to Smith for transport to court.
"We screwed up, there is no doubt about it. Somehow we gave him the wrong guy," Faulkner said. "We have precautions. You make sure it's the same guy by birth date and full name. I don't know for sure what happened down there."
She said the Joseph Marquez who escaped faces charges of robbery, theft, and falsifying his identity, while the other Joseph Marquez is in jail on DUI and other traffic offenses.
Faulkner said Salt Lake Metro Jail officials will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the wrong release.