Sheriff calls for review of procedures after woman escapes in county SUV

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UPDATE: Tori Hostetler was sentenced to four years work release, which she reported to on August 10, 2016.

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (Jan. 26, 2016)– The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department is reviewing its policies and procedures after a woman escaped from their handcuffs and took off with a county police car.

Police first arrested 21-year-old Tori Hostetler on Friday for being a passenger in a stolen car. She was handcuffed and placed in the back of a Hamilton County Sheriff Deputy’s SUV. That’s when Hostetler was able to escape.

Multiple agencies searched through the night and nearly 12 hours later found her in Hendricks County.

“As he stepped out of his vehicle to confer with one of the other officers, she was able to get out of her handcuffs and take off with the police car,” said Sheriff Mark Bowen. “It’s not altogether uncommon for someone to be handcuffed and secured in the back seat of a police car while the officer steps out to obtain additional information.”

Now Sheriff Bowen is reviewing policies and procedures to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

“It could mean anything from spending a significant amount of dollars to put cages in all of the vehicles. It could mean something as simple as a policy change,” he said. “Having somebody with the person at all times, regardless of the status of the offense and so forth.”

He wanted to make sure the public understood this was an isolated incident and will be investigated.

“Could we have handcuffed her? Could we have leg shackled her? Could we have put belly chains on her? We didn’t really have any reason to believe that she was a high risk in this case. And we got burned.”

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