Third inmate unwittingly released from Ohio jail in 3 months, records show

The mistaken releases add to a growing list of issues at the Cuyahoga County Jail


By Adam Ferrise
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Jail released a suspected burglar from the facility by mistake, marking the third time in as many months that a person who was supposed to stay in jail walked free.

Tyrieon Harris, 24, was supposed to be held in the jail in lieu of $25,000 bond on a burglary charge. He did not post bond in that case, court records say.

Tyrieon Harris was mistakenly released from the Cuyahoga County Jail. (Photo/Cuyahoga County Jail)
Tyrieon Harris was mistakenly released from the Cuyahoga County Jail. (Photo/Cuyahoga County Jail)

Harris was released from the jail Saturday after a Cleveland Municipal judge gave Harris a bond in a traffic case from 2016 in which Harris failed to appear in court.

The docket for his 2016 traffic case makes plain that Harris was supposed to remain in jail on the higher bond in the separate felony case.

He was not back in custody as of 1 p.m.

County officials have not responded to requests to verify Harris’ release or the status of any possible investigation into his whereabouts. Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said she would look into the matter.

Harris was arrested July 10 by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police. He is accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home on Woodland Avenue twice in two hours, according to court records.

He is also facing charges that accuse him of carjacking the same woman on Feb. 12. He dragged the woman and their child from her SUV and shoved her to the ground, according to court records. He grabbed her car keys and sped off in her SUV, court records say.

Ten days later, he led North Randall police on a high-speed chase, the records say. Harris posted bond $15,000 in that case on March 21.

Harris’ disappearance comes months after the mistaken release under similar circumstances of accused murderer and an accused bank robber connected to Cleveland’s Rack Gang.

The mistaken releases add to a growing list of issues at the Cuyahoga County Jail, where eight inmates died in 2018 and one died in 2019. The jail struggles with crowded conditions, lack of staff, assaults by inmates on corrections officers and officers charged with crimes in beatings, drugs sales to inmates and at least one accused of ignoring a dying inmate.

Several lawsuits have been filed over jail conditions, which a U.S. Marshals Service investigation deemed “inhumane” in a November report.

The issues have caused Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to order increased inspections of the Cuyahoga County Jail and for inspectors to review all Ohio jail standards in each inspection, instead of half every year.

The first mistaken release happened on April 29. A Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court gave accused bank robber Datuan Whitfield $200,000 bond.

Juvenile court officials waited more than a month to send his case file to the adult clerk of courts.

Clerk of courts employees did not put the case on the official docket because they were awaiting official word from the prosecutor’s office on how the prosecutors expected the case to proceed.

Whitfield posted 10 percent of a $50,000 bond in two other cases. Because the $200,000 bond was not filed on the docket, jail officials let him go free.

The second mistaken release happened on June 13. Jacquise Drewery, accused of fatally shooting his mother’s boyfriend in Euclid, was jailed on $1 million bond. A Euclid Municipal judge set a personal bond for Drewery in a separate case in which he pleaded guilty to driving under suspension.

Euclid Municipal Clerk of Courts employees initially sent the wrong paperwork to the jail, only including the personal bond. Within 45 minutes, court employees notified the jail and sent over a fax that said Drewery needed to be held in the jail on the $1 million bond.

Drewery was released from the jail on June 14.

©2019 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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