12 hours on the run
A pair of Department of Corrections inmates were able to walk out of the halfway house in Mangilao on Wednesday night, just minutes after an oversight hearing concluded with the agency's management in Hagatna.
Inmates Johhny Borja Atalig and Johnnie Gene Del Rosario, both 44, were nearing the end of serving their time at DOC, but apparently they couldn't wait. They escaped from DOC's Community Corrections Center or halfway house just after 9 p.m., Wednesday. The Community Corrections Center prepares inmates to get acclimated to return to society; they are allowed to participate in work release and educational programs.
Inmate Atalig, for example, was allowed to be released to provide grass cutting services, while Del Rosario was actually employed at a local sanitation company. Those privileges will likely be revoked.
KUAM News has learned that only one officer is stationed at the halfway house - located outside the DOC perimeter fence and houses 20 inmates. After Wednesday night's escape, the center was shut down and the remaining 18 inmates were transferred to DOC's RSAT unit.
After 12 hours on the run, the two self-surrendered at around 9 o'clock this morning. KUAM News learned that an unnamed individual called on their behalf for someone to contact the warden because they wanted to turn themselves in. The warden in coordination with the Guam Police Department's SWAT unit met the inmates in an undisclosed location so they could be taken back into custody.
According to GPD, both inmates were arrested for Felony Escape and Conspiracy. Del Rosario was also charged with promoting prison contraband.
Atalig and Del Rosario have long criminal records.
Atalig has been in and out of DOC since 2001. His most recent charges include robbery, stalking and impersonating a police officer. As for Del Rosario he has been in and out of DOC since 2004. His most recent charges include robbery, criminal facilitation and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony, and destruction of evidence.
The escape occurred minutes after an oversight hearing ended over DOC.
Committee Vice Chair on Public Safety Vice Speaker Telena Nelson reacted, proclaiming, "This latest incident only serves to underscore the significant challenges facing the prison; our community should not have to be rattled by irresponsibility and careless negligence. It has become very clear there is a shortage of officers at DOC. I have been in discussions with Adelup to address this shortage."
Meanwhile, DOC Director Samantha Brennan has asked the police department to conduct the internal affairs investigation to ensure it is done quickly and as independently as possible.