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Pasco deputy demoted over 2009 inmate escape

LAND O'LAKES — High on pills and on her way to jail, Amanda Driggers wriggled out of her handcuffs, peeled back a door panel and slipped out of a Sheriff's Office cruiser at a red light just after midnight on July 26, 2009. Cpl. Barry Arnew didn't realize the 19-year-old wasn't in the back of his patrol car until he got to the jail, more than two miles away.

An internal investigation into the incident finished Feb. 4. Arnew, who is 51 and has worked for the Sheriff's Office since 1981, was cited for inattention to detail and suspended for two days without pay. He also was demoted from corporal to deputy, according to Sheriff's Office documents.

Driggers, 19, was found and re-arrested the day after her escape. While taking her to jail, Det. Marc Erickson asked her how she had gotten out of the handcuffs Arnew put on her.

"Like this," she said, removing Erickson's handcuffs, according to documents. Erickson was "stunned."

Driggers swore to investigators she is not double-jointed, documents state.

Pasco deputy demoted over 2009 inmate escape 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 6:19pm]
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