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Drug-Addicted Paramedic Escapes Electronic Monitoring

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Authorities said Thursday that they don t know how a drug-addicted paramedic thwarted the electronic anklet monitoring system that is supposed to ensure that people abide by house arrest.

Samuel Bond was supposed to be under house arrest inside his father s home when authorities allege he broke into a county fire station on Oct. 13.

The electronic monitoring anklets worn by defendants on house arrest are designed to send out alerts via pager or computer whenever the anklets are tampered with or whenever the defendant goes beyond his court-ordered boundaries.

After the fire station was burglarized, Bond was found passed out on his father s driveway, which is outside the boundaries of his house arrest. Bond was taken to University Medical Center, where he was stabilized before he was returned to jail.

They (house arrest officers) have no clue how he slipped off his anklet, and they don t know why it didn t go off, Chief Deputy Attorney General Conrad Hafen said.

Las Vegas police Sgt. Darrick Butler said authorities didn t know Bond had left his house until they learned he had been taken to the hospital.

Butler said Omnilink Systems, which makes and monitors the tracking devices, has never had a similar incident. An independent firm out of Washington, D.C., is investigating how Bond escaped without alerting officers, Butler said.

Bond, a 35-year-old former Clark County Fire Department paramedic, is accused of burglarizing numerous local firehouses and ambulances to feed his prescription drug habit. He was scheduled to have an evidentiary hearing in Justice Court on Thursday, but the judge delayed it while attorneys negotiate a possible plea bargain and review evidence.

Hafen said he has offered Bond the chance to plead guilty to seven felonies. Bond s defense lawyer, Robert Lucherini, said he s not sure whether Bond will take the deal. Lucherini first wants to review Bond s medical history, including previous drug rehabilitation programs he might have attended before he settles on anything.

Clearly, my client is addicted to drugs, and drugs have been a driving factor in my client s actions. This is a sad case, Lucherini said.

Bond was first arrested Sept. 30 and charged with stealing narcotics from 11 fire stations and ambulances. He was charged with 10 burglaries, six counts of possession of a controlled substance and one gross misdemeanor count of possession of burglary tools.

The Clark County Fire Department fired Bond on Oct. 2, said Scott Allison, the department s spokesman. Allison said Bond had been placed on administrative leave Sept. 28 but then violated the terms of his last chance agreement by failing to show up for a drug test.

Hafen filed additional charges Thursday related to the escape from house arrest: a felony charge of escape of a prisoner and a gross misdemeanor count of tampering with an electronic device.

Hafen said he is considering additional charges related to the escape, including one count of burglary and one count of controlled substance.

The plea deal he has offered would allow Bond to plead guilty to four burglary counts, two possession of controlled substance charges and escape of prisoner.

Attorneys would be free to argue before the judge regarding the appropriate sentence, which could include probation, but the seven counts carry a maximum of 64 years, Hafen said.

It s a very complicated deal, Lucherini said. It s hard for me to let a client plead guilty to one felony, let alone seven.

Contact reporter K.C. Howard at khoward@reviewjournal.com or (702) 380-1039.

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