Friday, March 5, 2010

Luke’s ‘locks down’ to protect family

Authorities investigate alleged no-contact-order violation


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Ron Lloyd, manager of building services at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, monitors people coming into the facility following implementation of lockdown procedures Wednesday and Thursday at the hospital. Photo by David N. Seelig

The words "I know where you are" were enough to send St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center into security-lockdown mode Wednesday morning after they were received as a cell phone text message by a woman whose infant child was a patient at the facility.

Hospital and law enforcement authorities perceived the message as a possible threat, considering that it was allegedly written by the woman's estranged husband, a man with past criminal convictions for violent behavior.

An "attempt-to-locate" bulletin issued Wednesday by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office identified the estranged husband as Bryce Deon Amos, a 31-year-old Twin Falls resident. Sheriff's Lt. Curtis Miller said Thursday afternoon that police have talked with Amos but that he had not been arrested.

"We're basically conducting an investigation into a civil-protection-order violation," Miller said. "We're just trying to get all our ducks in a row and see if there was a crime committed."

Miller said authorities had not determined if Amos had actually intended to make a threat against the woman.

"It's a situation we're looking into and we're not going to give anything definite until we know for sure," he said.

The lockdown, started Wednesday morning at St. Luke's, remained in effect at press deadline Thursday afternoon. Under the hospital's security plan, all doors to the facility were kept locked except for the emergency room door, which was kept staffed by hospital personnel to monitor people coming into the facility.

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"We remain on lockdown at this time, and until we hear otherwise from law enforcement, all our procedures will remain in place," hospital spokeswoman Tanya Keim said.

Regardless of heightened security, hospital services continued as usual.

"People are coming and going, surgeries are happening and people are being seen just as normal," Keim said.

Heightened security measures were also put in place Thursday at Hailey and Woodside elementary schools.

Scott Manning, Blaine County School District director of safety, said Amos and the woman have children who attend the schools and "perimeter code yellow" security measures were implemented for precautionary purposes.

School was not in session at either school on Thursday because of parent-teacher conferences. Manning said all exterior doors to the schools were locked with the exception of the main doors, which were monitored by armed school resource officers.

The woman has apparently been living in Blaine County and trying to keep her whereabouts unknown to her husband. According to Twin Falls County court records, she filed for divorce against Amos on Dec. 21.

Court records indicate that Amos has misdemeanor convictions for domestic battery in 2006 and 2007 and is currently on probation for a 2009 felony conviction of possession of a controlled substance.

The attempt-to-locate bulletin issued on Amos described him as 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds. It stated that he has a shaved head and a red goatee and might be driving a purple 1995 Dodge Stratus.

Some county officials were warned that Amos could be "armed and dangerous."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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