GREGG COUNTY (KLTV) - An East Texas drug suspect has been on the loose for more than 24 hours, and authorities are still looking for any clue as to his whereabouts. Michael Dante Fagan managed to escape from a Gregg County deputy Tuesday in handcuffs. Fagan is the third person in the last six months that managed to get away or escape Gregg County Sheriff's Department authorities.
Many people are asking, how does this keep happening and what is the Gregg County Sheriff's Department doing about it?
From the East Texas skies to the grounds and on the scanners, several law enforcement agencies, including a DPS helicopter unit set up perimeters, hoping to corner Fagan, after getting a tip that he was at a home in the Liberty City area.
"The suspect Fagan evaded officers again," said Lieutenant Mike Claxton. "He was able to get out of a residence before the officers were able to get up on the residence and fled into a wooded area."
Authorities evacuated the Shallow Creek Country Club golf grounds on Wilkins Road.
"Attention any golfers at the Shallow Creek County Club," announced the speakers. "A ground search is underway for a fugitive at large."
Authorities told us Fagan managed to get his hand cuffs off. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and some blue shorts.
"This particular type of escape, although it shouldn't have happened and is something that we don't like to have occur, did happen," said Claxton.
Suspects escaping has happened more lately. Fagan is the fourth person to escape since February. In Fagan's case he managed to escape from a deputy at the jail in the sally port, right before he was booked in. Authorities say the deputy should have asked the dispatcher to close the sally port doors, but instead they were open.
"Obviously if the officers thought that the suspect was a flight risk they would take that extra step," said Claxton. "The sheriff is entertaining upgraded policies concerning that. Although he was somewhat familiar with this person, obviously, he just didn't take the appropriate steps to insure the security."
Gregg County officials say are considering changes in policy and procedures, but in the mean time their goal is to get Fagan off the streets.
Fagan is of course facing another set of evading arrest charges, as well as a narcotics charge for cocaine that was found inside his vehicle. Authorities do consider Fagan to be dangerous.