Escaped Fairview Park inmate captured by police in Cleveland

Posted at 11:59 AM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 17:04:51-05

Police captured an inmate Monday who walked away from a local hospital last week.

David Dahn was taken into custody by police after they were notified that he was staying at a home in the 800 block of Stevenson Avenue in Cleveland, according to a news release. Fairview Park and Cleveland police both responded to the home. 

Dahn, 30, was last seen in the Fairview Hospital at 3:08 p.m. Thursday. An ambulance transported him there from the Fairview Park jail as part of the department's medical furlough program.

The program, initiated by the Rocky River Municipal Court, according to Fairview Park police, is designed to protect the cities it serves from paying inmates' medical bills.

“Why would the residents of Fairview Park be responsible for what a resident of Elyria has?” questioned Lt. Paul Shepard of the Fairview Park Police Department.

Shepard said the program gives police the authority to release inmates who request medical attention if they are serving time for misdemeanor charges. Otherwise, if escorted by police to see a doctor, the department gets billed for the inmates' appointments. The inmates sign a written agreement indicating that they will return.

"Mr. Dahn was the rare exception," added Shepard.

Shepard said Dahn, an Elyria resident, was supposed to call Fairview Park police to be picked up when his appointment ended Thursday. But he fled in a paper suit immediately after seeing a doctor.

North Olmsted police confirm that Dahn also escaped from North Olmsted's jail in August, taking advantage of the furlough program there to get away.

“We didn’t view him as a risk to public safety," added Shepard who said the department knew of his previous escape at the time they furloughed him.

Dahn has a lengthy criminal history that includes domestic violence, felonious assault, aggravated theft, drug possession and breaking and entering.

Shepard said he will not be given the opportunity to be furloughed again in Fairview Park. He is back in the city's jail and charged with escape.

“We may look at this and say we’re going to do we’re going to do it a little differently next time," he said.

News 5 reached out to the Rocky River Municipal Court regarding the medical furlough program but did not receive a call back.

Shepard said 90% of the inmates from Fairview Park jail who are furloughed return. Inmates charged with felony offenses who request medical attention are given a police escort to medical appointments.