Local News

Raleigh Police Investigate Gun Left In Suspect's Possession

Posted February 22, 2006 3:27 a.m. EST

— After a loaded gun ended up inside the Wake County Jail, authorities are trying to find out why no one found the gun on the suspect before he was taken into custody.

Detention officers found the weapon in the boot of Robert Hodge, 20, as he was being processed Monday for an arrest Sunday in connection with an armed robbery.

"I can't imagine what would have happened if he had gotten into a cell downstairs," said Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

A new safety policy put in place more than a week ago by the City County Bureau of Identification requires inmates to be handcuffed at all times. Officials believe that policy may have saved lives.

"Everybody wants to find answers when something like this happens," said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue. "Obviously, something went wrong. Now, the objective is to determine what we might be able to do differently in the future that would prevent it from happening again."

Some officers, however, have resisted the new handcuff policy saying that it takes more time to process an inmate, but Harrison, who is in charge of the jail, said clearly in this situation, the policy worked.

"The policy was to plan for the worst case scenario. What happened yesterday was the worst case scenario," said CCBI director Sam Pennica.

Raleigh police say they are investigating the incident internally and no disciplinary action has been taken against any officers.

"They are still looking into it, talking to people, sharing information up the line to see if folks know what happened," Sughrue said. "Whatever steps are appropriate will eventually be taken."

Officers did find a stun gun and a knife on another suspect connected with the same armed robbery.