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Accused Killer Walks Out of Hospital, Disappears: Police

Police and hospital fail to communicate on patient's discharge

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Gary Police Department is looking for a man accused of murder after he was allowed to walk out of a suburban hospital earlier this year. NBC 5's Emily Florez reports. (Published Monday, May 5, 2014)

    The Gary Police Department is looking for a man accused of murder after he was allowed to walk out of a suburban Chicago hospital earlier this year.

    Mark Cherry, 21, is accused of taking part in a violent armed robbery at a Gary, Indiana, home that took the life of 22-year-old Rolando A. Correa.

    Cherry was charged with murder and attempted murder, but was hospitalized at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn after suffering a gunshot wound.

    A couple of months later, when Cherry was discharged, the hospital allowed him to walk away free, police say.

    "Somehow, I don't know who is responsible for not notifying the Gary Police Department, but it should have been known, it should have been flagged," Gary police spokeswoman Gabrielle King said. "At this point, he is definitely considered dangerous."

    Gary police say Cherry should have been under a police hold, but that they were never notified until he left the hospital.

    Hospital officials say that rules prevent them from notifying a person or agency about a patient's pending discharge unless the patient agrees to it.

    The hospital says it's up to the police department to post an officer on site during the hospitalization so that the patient can be immediately taken into custody upon discharge. Officials say they don't have police powers allowing them to legally detain a patient against his or her will.

    Gary police say they can only guard patients in Indiana and not in other states.

    Anyone with information about Cherry's whereabouts is asked to call the Gary Police Department at 219-881-1214.