Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on July 9, 1992 · Page 6
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 6

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Thursday, July 9, 1992
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Page 6
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A8 The Arizona Republic Thursday, July 9, 1992 Guard fired over convict's escape Horning recalls manhunt, ease of eluding lawmen, dogs By Jim Walsh The Arizona Republic The escape of Danny Ray Horning cost a guard his job Wednesday, and two top officials of the Arizona State Prison at Florence were suspended by state Department of Corrections Director Sam Lewis. "The fact that Danny Horning could escape from a maximum-security facility is unimaginable and unacceptable by any correctional standard," Lewis said in a written statement. Corrections Officer Sergio G. Men-doza, who allowed Horning to walk through a gate at the Florence prison May 12, was fired for failing to stop him. Horning dressed as a medical worker to escape. Deputy Warden Harol Whitley was demoted two pay grades at a cost of more than $4,200 in annual salary and reassigned to the minimum-security North Unit from the maximum-security Central Unit. Maj. Frank Terry, formerly 'security chief at the Central Unit, was suspended for 80 hours at a loss of more than $1,600 and transferred to the medium-security South Unit. Sgt. Mark Kilgore received an 80-hour suspension at a cost of more than $750 for failing to express his concerns to superiors about Mendo-za's assignment at the gate. Earlier this year, he transferred Mendoza for a "lackadaisical and non-professional attitude," but Mendoza later was reassigned to the gate. Vicky Brumfield, a registered nurse, was given a 24-hour suspension at a cost of more than $400 for failing to report the loss of her prison ID card until 20 days after Homing's escape. Susan Montoya, a nursing assistant, was given a 40-hour suspension at a cost of more than $300 for not reporting the loss of her lab coat until after the escape. Dr. Brad Beard, a prison dentist, was given a letter of reprimand for failing to safeguard medical supplies. to escape someday. And, he said, he'll take it. "What have I got to lose?" he asked. Horning is to be tried on a variety of charges stemming from his escape, including bank robbery and attempted murder. He also faces prosecution in a murder in Stockton, Calif. He denies involvement in that killing, in which the victim's body was dismembered. Horning had turned down an offer of protection. At any rate, the captured escapee said he is in no danger now. "I've got to be the safest person in the world right now," Horning said. "I'm either locked in my cell, or I've got chains on my ankles, and I'm handcuffed and the cuffs are hooked to a belt around my waist." It's unknown how long Horning will be in the ultrahigh-security Special Management Unit, but he predicted that he'll get another chance : HORNING, from page A 1 help in his escape from the national ', park. "I wasn't going to hurt them," he ; said Wednesday in a telephone inter- view from prison with an Arizona '. Republic reporter. "I was realistic. I thought we'd get stopped and it would ; be time to give up." After slipping through the road-j blocks, Horning tied the women to a tree and fled south in their car. Arizona Highway Patrol officers spot-- ted Horning and chased him until he The Contributing to this article were Associated Press and Reuter's. crashed the car about eight miles south of Flagstaff. ; He was captured near the Village of Oak Creek on Sunday. Horning said the closest he came to ' killing anyone during his 54-day ; escape occurred during the Saturday . chase when he traded shots with a Highway Patrol officer. "I came close to blowing the top of ifflfl wffl """ 3 DAYS ONLY...THURSDAY. FRIDAY & SATURDAY! , JAKE AN ADDITIONAL r r his head off, he said. "His car moved just an inch or so, or I would have killed him." ; The state Corrections Department - allowed Horning to give 10-minute phone interviews to several reporters. He spoke from the Special Management Unit of the Arizona State Prison in Florence, where he is serving three life terms for armed robbery, aggravated assault and kidnapping. Horning was asked by Phoenix radio station KTAR (620 AM) whether his escape was worth winding up in solitary confinement. 'Got a two-month vacation' "Of course it was," Horning replied. "I got a two-month vacation that the ... DOC (Department of Corrections) don't allow inmates." He also told the radio interviewer he wouldn't apologize for taking hostages because he "had to do it." Though he took several hostages at gunpoint, Horning did not harm anyone during the escape. Among those he threatened was Jana Cerny, 21, of Beaverton, Ore. Horning approached Cerny and her boyfriend, Zdenek Kel, at 6:30 p.m. on June 29 in the Grandview Point parking lot on the Grand Canyon's South Rim. A panic-stricken Cerny got out of -their station wagon while her boyfriend lied to Horning, telling him the car was broken and couldn't be moved. "Horning pulled a gun from behind his back and said, Til fix it for you,' " Cerny recalled. She said her 29-year-old boyfriend shouted, "I'm not going anywhere with you. If you want to shoot me, shoot me right now." They ran away, and Horning sped off, possibly spooked by another car. Horning said he enjoyed the attention the escape brought him but was sorry lawmen called him Rambo, after a weapons-trained survivalist character played in several movies by actor Sylvester Stallone. 'They called me '99' before' His real prison nickname is linked to his long prison term, Horning said. "They called me '99' before the escape because I was serving a 99-year sentence," Horning said. "I don't know what they will call me now, but I hope it's not Rambo. I'm not that way at all." Rambo or not, Horning proved he is a skilled outdoorsman. He said he evaded searchers and bloodhounds by circling through scrub brush and swimming whenever possible. He said it was easy running circles around his pursuers and their bloodhounds. "At one point, I got so close to their cars I could hear what their radio was saying about me," he told a radio station. Although he has appeared to thrive on the explosion of media coverage of his escape and capture, Horning said he hadn't expected the attention while planning the escape. "I thought I would be able to hole up for a month or so and then sneak across the border, find me a beach and have a few tequila sunrises," he said. After he walked out of the prison May 12 while masquerading as a medical technician, Horning said, he managed to get to Tucson, where he robbed a Valley National Bank branch on May 19. He said he then paid, a Tucson man $200 to drive him to northern Arizona. "The guy had no idea who I was," Horning said, I was the class clown' Horning is enjoying his notoriety. "I've always been an attention seeker," he said. "When I was a kid, I was the class clown, and when I was going to parties, I was the life of the party." He said, however, that he got too much attention from enemies in the prison before his escape. Their attacks were behind his getaway, he said. "There were a couple of punks who tried to get me. They didn't face me. -(.They tried to get me from the back," Horning said. "When they couldn't get me, they got some of their friends to go after me." Horning said he asked prison" officials to move him to an area where he would be protected, but they refused. However, Corrections Director Sam Lewis said this week that ALL PREVIOUSLY MARKED DOWN, RED-TICKETED FASHIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY AND HOMi I . mom: JCPenney SUPERSTITION SPRINGS CENTER, WESTRIDGE MALL, PARADISE VALLEY MALL, CHRISTOWN MALL, TUCSON MALL, EL CON MALI TUCSON, VALLEY WEST MALL, TRI-CITY MALL IN MESA

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