Escape raises questions anew about DOC procedures

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The lack of guards at the facility has been a major issue for the staff at the prison. (PNC file photo)

Post 9 at the Department of Corrections is the halfway house where inmates who are nearing their release from prison are housed. However, it appears that two inmates decided last night that their time at DOC was up so they escaped from the prison. But with heat from local authorities on high, their escape was short-lived.

Half-way house escapees 44-year-old Johnnie Del Rosario and 44-year-old Johnny Atalig called up authorities this morning at around 9 a.m. to self-surrender.

The two men escaped the Mangilao compound at around 9:10 p.m. Wednesday. Wearing civilian clothing, the escapees were seen entering a brown American-made truck and fleeing on Maimai road heading towards Chalan Pago.

On the scene, PNC saw numerous DOC correctional officers gathered outside the halfway house nearly an hour after the men made their escape, and the road passing the compound was blocked off with cones.

As motorists attempted to pass through the area, DOC officers were also seen stopping motorists before allowing them to pass.

GPD Spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao says that the escapees coordinated with DOC and GPD’s SWAT team to meet at an undisclosed location and took the two escapees back into custody. This is all that authorities have disclosed at this time.

However, the escape raises several questions. First, how did they manage to walk out of the prison if lockdown occurs at 8:30 in the evening. Second, where were the correctional officers assigned to the halfway house and who helped them escape?

DOC Director Samantha Brennan has already asked GPD to do the internal affairs investigation and once it is complete, she said all responsible persons will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

The escape occurred less than an hour after the Legislature grilled DOC on troubling incidents of erroneous releases and assaults on DOC officers.

Atalig and Del Rosario were booked and re-confined.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.