Man escapes police at UNMH

Posted at: 02/26/2013 10:52 PM
Updated at: 02/26/2013 10:56 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Jonathan Kahl
Photo: Jonathan Kahl

It sounds almost comical.

You are not going to believe how a man managed to escape Albuquerque police while being treated at UNM Hospital.

The man ended up at UNMH after being arrested on drug charges.

He’s on the run but could be easy to spot: just look for his hands.

It all started when Albuquerque police tried to book Jonathan Kahl into jail early Saturday morning.

He wasn’t allowed in because of his hands.

"Because he had a medical condition which caused some swelling of his hands," said Tasia Martinez, public information officer for APD.

The 39-year-old was taken to UNM Hospital and was co-operative.

“The officers then decided out of compassion not to put cuffs on Mr. Kahl. So they wouldn't further aggravate his condition," said Martinez.

The officer guarding him was sitting outside his room then checked in on Kahl.

"He noticed there appeared to be a subject lying on the bed…And a doctor or another medical personnel wearing scrubs pushing a cart exiting the room," said Martinez.

But something caught the officer’s attention:

"The officer noticed that the person wearing the scrubs was also wearing what appeared to be jeans under his scrubs," she said.

The cop went back into the room to wake Kahl and like a scene out of ‘Escape from Alcatraz,’ "Mr. Kahl actually turned out to be a pile of pillows underneath the blanket," said Martinez.

Officers set up a perimeter but it was too late.

Swollen hands and all, Jonathan Kahl took off his scrubs, doctor’s mask and made a run for it down Lomas.

"[He] took advantage of the officer’s compassion and kindness and used the ultimate trickery to get out of the hospital," said Martinez.

APD says their officers did nothing wrong by not cuffing Kahl.

It’s up to officers as to how arrested individuals are restrained, especially depending on their medical needs.

UNMH hasn’t responded as to why scrubs and a facemask were left in the room.

Kahl has an Albuquerque address. He is already on probation and is now facing felony charges.