Man flees, recaptured after bond revoked
By RANDY GONZALES
A defendant who was just found guilty in Ellis County District Court late Thursday afternoon tried to escape from the courtroom at the Ellis County Courthouse.
Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees, who was prosecuting the case, said the defendant, Nathan Beougher of Colorado Springs, Colo., was found guilty by the jury with intent to distribute marijuana.
Since it was Beougher's third conviction for distribution, Drees sought bond to be revoked. The judge agreed.
"As soon as he revoked his bond, he just fled," Drees said.
A Hays police officer in the courtroom attempted to grab Beougher, Drees said, as he went out the door, where Beougher ran into a courthouse security person from the sheriff's office. The two law enforcement officers and Beougher all ended up near the rail by the stairs on the third floor before the prisoner was subdued.
After a call was made to 911, several law enforcement officers arrived on the scene to help secure the prisoner, Drees said.
The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m., shortly after offices at the courthouse were closed.
"Had that happened one hour earlier ... we could have had all kinds of people from the public up on that floor when he bolted out," Drees said. "Had he knocked a child or someone down that flight of stairs, $10 million would be a pittance for what we're going to be looking at on the wrong end of a lawsuit."
County officials have been pushing courthouse security as one of the issues for passing a sales tax which would in part be directed toward renovations in the courthouse.
"It's going to take one tragic incident," Drees said. "We almost saw that today."