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updated: 7/25/2017 9:39 AM

Delnor nurses allege sheriff was told inmate wasn't being guarded properly

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  • A hospital employee speaks with a police officer at the Delnor Hospital emergency department entrance in Geneva during a hostage situation in May.

    A hospital employee speaks with a police officer at the Delnor Hospital emergency department entrance in Geneva during a hostage situation in May.
    Daily Herald file photo/John Starks, May 2017

 
 

Delnor Hospital workers complained at least once to the hospital's security company and to the Kane County sheriff's department that jail inmate Tywon Salters was not being guarded properly when he stayed in the hospital May 8-13.

That's according to amendments to a federal lawsuit brought by nurses who were attacked when Salters escaped his room May 13.

The amended complaint also says that Salters, 21, was a gang member. And that he was convicted, as a juvenile, of robbery in 2008, firearm theft in 2010, and motor vehicle theft in 2011. In 2013, he was convicted of armed robbery and aiding or abetting the possession of a stolen vehicle and was sentenced to six years in state prison.

And on March 11 he was charged with stealing a motor vehicle. He also was under investigation for an armed robbery involving that vehicle, according to the amended complaint.

Because of his previous felony conviction, Salters was looking at a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years if convicted and would have had to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

On May 7, he swallowed hydrogen peroxide at the jail and was treated at the hospital. On May 8, he ate part of his plastic sandal, and was brought again to the hospital.

On May 13, an unshackled Salters grabbed a jail guard's gun, forced one nurse to give him her clothes, and held another hostage for several hours, beating and raping her, according to her lawyers. Salters was shot to death by a member of a sheriff's department SWAT team.

The nurses are suing Apex3 Security, Kane County and Shawn Loomis, the officer who was guarding Salters at the time of his escape.

Representatives for Apex3 and Loomis did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening. The Kane County state's attorney, who serves as the county's attorney, has previously said he would not comment on the lawsuit or investigation.

The amended complaint also alleges:

• Jail officials knew Salters required medications for mental health issues, and Salters was being abused and harassed by other inmates. It does not specify the issues or medications.

• When Salters was brought to the emergency department May 8, he was unshackled to use the restroom. A jail guard left Salters alone with a nurse, according to the complaint. Apex3 Security and the sheriff's department were notified of the incident, the complaint says.

• At 8 a.m. May 13, the day Salters escaped, a nurse saw a jail guard sitting in a reclining chair and using a laptop computer.

• At 10 a.m. May 13, an officer was in the recliner, with his legs up, using a laptop computer.

Those officers are not being sued.

It had previously been alleged that jail guards were found sleeping on a couch in Salters' room; that they used personal cellphones and tablets while guarding Salters; that the prisoner was allowed to use a hospital telephone repeatedly, until a nurse removed the telephone; and that Salters was allowed to walk around the hallways unshackled.

The Illinois State Police are investigating the escape and hostage-taking. It will turn the report over to the Kane County state's attorney's office.

The amended complaint was filed Wednesday. The defendants have until Aug. 21 to file a reply. The next status hearing is set for Feb. 21.

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