(WICHITA, Kan.) -

An inmate who was accidentally released from the Sedgwick County jail is now back in custody.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office said Chad Engel was arrested on July 11 at Kanopolis Lake.  The Ellsworth County Sheriff’s Office arrested him on a McPherson County Warrant.

Engel walked away from the Sedgwick County Detention Facility on July 8. He was awaiting transfer to McPherson County. 

The case will be presented to the district attorney’s office for further charging.

The jail deputy who made the mistake was reprimanded.


Human error is to blame after a Sedgwick County inmate was accidentally released, according to the sheriff's office. 

Chad Alan Engel was booked into jail July 2 on traffic charges. He was to be transferred to McPherson County Jail July 8 for a warrant.

He was released at the same time another inmate was released from custody, said Danny Bardezbain, Sedgwick County Undersheriff.

"The inmates are taken to an area, give their personal clothing and they change out of their jump suits," Bardezbain said. "The Corporal walked in there, he knew generally all the people in there are released out the front door, but he just didn't check, he just grabbed these two guys and walked them out the front door."

Bardezbain said the McPherson County Deputy who was there to pick Engel up noticed that it was taking him too long to change clothes and asked where he was. That's when the Sedgwick County deputy realized the mistake.

"The deputy said 'I thought he was to be released, so I just walked him out the front door 10 minutes ago,'" Bardezbain said, "That was it. It was strictly human error."

Bardezbain said the deputy should have checked both inmate's paperwork and confirmed their name, pictures and fingerprints in the computer data base.

"That's something that should have been checked because that's where all this information is generated as to the conditions of release or how to be released."

In the past decade, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department has purchased a new fingerprint identification system and new computer software to safeguard against "bad releases" of inmates. Bardezbain said those resources only work when the people who run them are doing their job.

"When you have human error come into play, you can have all the policies and rules you want, but you have to follow them, humans have to follow them," he said.

According to the sheriff's department, the deputy who made the mistake will face consequences. At this time, what they are have not been determined. The department will look at the deputy's discipline history before making that decision.

Inmate Engel will also face consequences. When he's caught, he'll face a charge of escape from custody, according to the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department.

"He knew that McPherson was here to pick him up," Bardezbain said. "He knew he was not suppose to be walked out that front door. He just kept his mouth shut and hit the door."

Chad Alan Engel is described as 6-feet tall and about 180 pounds, with blue eyes and blond or strawberry blond hair. If you see  Engel, call 911.