Lake County demanding payment after search for accused killer

Lake County wants more than $30,000 from the Wisconsin transportation company it says is responsible for the Dec. 14 escape of an accused murderer at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Gary.

On Wednesday, Lake County Commissioners agreed to send a letter to REDI Transports asking to be reimbursed for expenses from the two-week manhunt and recapture of Leon Taylor. They’re also asking for the money the company charged them to transport Taylor to Lake County back.

Police said Taylor was supposed to be locked into a belly chain with handcuffs and a leg brace. A REDI agent pulled into a McDonald’s drive-thru to make sure Taylor was fed before heading to jail.

The agent told police Taylor asked him to roll down a window so he could spit, and then escaped, but surveillance video showed Taylor simply opened the door and ran off.

The Times of Northwest Indiana says the letter lays out all the costs the county spent:

Lake County Sheriff’s Department: $25,684.58

Lake County Prosecutor:$1,038.53

Gary Police Department: $884.88

Amount paid to REDI Transports: $3,150

Total = $30,757.99

Commissioner Mike Repay writes that REDI Transports and its employees were negligent when while transporting Taylor to Lake County.

REDI President Crystal Cook previously said the company is conducting an internal investigation into what happened in Gary.

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