CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team found a senior citizen was attacked at a local ATM and the suspect is a convict who’d been released back on your streets under GPS monitoring with an ankle bracelet.
That lead the I-Team to investigate how many people with ankle bracelets are committing new crimes, especially now with a spotlight on releasing inmates to decrease jail populations during the coronavirus outbreak.
The ATM attack happened off Shaker Square in Cleveland. A senior citizen said a man surprised him, hit him with baseball bat and demanded money.
“He hit me like a dozen times with a baseball bat. Just a vicious and cowardly attack. This guy should have never been on the street,” the victim said.
Cleveland Police identified Anderson Stapler, a convict who’d been put back on the streets with an ankle bracelet under watch by the state parole authority.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors just indicted him on a series of charges for the attack at the ATM.
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department said since March, seven inmates released cut off ankle bracelets and disappeared.
Records show Marquan Little did it the day after he got out. Another 18 inmates on ankle bracelets got arrested again for various reasons.
In Cuyahoga County, if you cut off your ankle bracelet, go where you’re not supposed to or even come home late, it sets off an alarm. Deputies monitor the system at the justice center 24/7. Certainly, you face getting arrested for cutting off an ankle bracelet or committing another crime while on GPS.
“I would say from a public safety standpoint, I’m comfortable with it,” said Cuyahoga County Sheriff David Schilling about the GPS monitoring system.
He points out, in Cuyahoga County, hundreds of inmates could be out on GPS monitoring at any time. But he added most don’t get into big trouble.
“I think this is a way to get individuals out of our correctional facility who don’t really need to be here. There’s always gonna be some that violate, that cut it off,” Schilling said.
The victim at the ATM was left for dead. He’s now left with no faith in GPS monitoring. For him, you can understand why.
“Monitoring doesn’t keep them from committing crime,” he said.
Meantime, we also found people on ankle bracelet monitoring don’t automatically get arrested for setting off an alarm every time.
The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court said in the first quarter of this year, the ankle bracelets set off an alarm 7,995 times. That huge number includes people going where they shouldn’t, people going home late, low batteries, equipment problems, tampering with the devices and much more.
As for the seven people sheriff’s deputies said recently cut off their ankle bracelets, records show only one has been captured: Marquan Little.