Bowie County inmate returns after being released by accident

Bowie County inmate returns after being released by accident

It was all because two inmates had the same last name.
In Texarkana, an inmate is back behind bars, after being mistakenly released.

"This incident is embarrassing that it happened," said Bowie County Sheriff James Prince.

Around 7pm Tuesday, 31-year-old Tonokla Patterson, was released.

Only problem was, it was the wrong inmate.
 
"The officer went in and called for Patterson, not realizing there were two with the same last name," said Prince. "The officers said she was getting released, she allowed them to release her."

Tonokla, or "Tony", gathered the other prisoner's things and walked right out a free woman.

"She knew she wasn't supposed to be released," said Prince. "Part of the problem was that there was a new officer in training working the release desk."

Bowie County Sheriff deputies aren't sure when officers found the mistake.

But on Wednesday, they located her in Arkansas.

Officials say Patterson's friends brought her back to the Bi-State Justice Center around 10pm.

Since then officers started an investigation to figure out how something like this could have happened.

Patterson is back behind bars, but won't face any additional charges.

"I promised her, if she would turn herself in, under any circumstance, that I would not charge her for escape," said Prince.

Officials say procedures are in place so something like this doesn't happen.

But it did, and they say it won't happen again.

"We can make excuses, but we won't. We learned from this and we will correct it."

The Bi-State Justice Center is owned by a private company.

Therefore, they can change charges as well as deal with the officers who were involved.
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