Fugitive being treated for gunshot wound removes vital sign monitors and escapes Cleveland hospital

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 10:27:41-04

A 24-year-old former inmate is wanted by the U.S. Marshals for escaping from a hospital where he was being treated for a gunshot wound while on an unsupervised medical furlough.

According to court records, Andre Hatcher was convicted of armed robbery and felonious assault in January 2011. He was sentenced to 46 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release.

Federal court documents show that Hatcher was indicted in February 2014 for breaking the terms of his probation and was found in possession of a 9mm pistol.

Hatcher was ordered by a federal judge to be transferred from the Federal Corrections Institution in Fairton, New Jersey to Oriana House Residential Reentry Center in Cleveland on January 24, 2017.

Despite the federal judge's order to remain at the halfway house, investigators said Hatcher walked out on March 16 and never returned.

Weeks later, Hatcher was transported to University Hospitals with a serious gunshot wound to the neck.

“The bullet was lodged in his jaw,” said Asst. Chief Ronald Carter of the U.S. Marshals Service.  “I don’t believe they thought he was a flight risk at that time. I don’t believe most people would.”

Due to the seriousness of his condition, Carter said the Federal Bureau of Prisons gave Hatcher an unsupervised medical furlough with orders to return to court immediately after his release.

“But he didn’t. He pulled out his wires and walked out one day later,” Carter said.

Hatcher has been on the run ever since.

It’s a story with many familiarities to the case of a Fairview Park inmate who escaped from Fairview Hospital during his medical furlough in December.

David Dahn, 30, was still wearing his paper patient’s gown when he exited the hospital. 

Dahn had previously escaped from North Olmsted’s jail in a similar manner in August of 2016 by taking advantage of the medical furlough program.

Carter said that the majority of inmates or halfway house residents who are granted medical furloughs comply with the conditions, but there are always exceptions. 

“Sometimes they take their freedom for granted and clearly [Hatcher] did,” he said. 

National Security Expert Tim Dimoff agrees. He said Hatcher and Dahn’s cases are not typical. He said supervising all medical treatments would not be practical for local and federal law enforcement.

“You would be paying for additional labor, you’re paying for all the medical bills,” Dimoff explained.

Dahn was captured days after his escape, but Hatcher has been on the run since April 21.

Investigators said he stands approximately 5’08” and weighs 165 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Hatcher is believed to be hiding in the Cleveland area, possibly in the area of Garden Valley/Rainbow Terrace and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information in reference to Andre Hatcher is asked to contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411).

Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.