HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Colt Lyerla, the one-time Oregon Duck football star whose career was derailed by drugs, was found by the Hillsboro police one day after he escaped from a Wshington County correctional facility while serving a 6-month sentence for forgery.
Authorities responded to a call about a heroin overdose and found Lyerla, Lt. Henry Reimann with Hillsboro police said.
Police said when they arrived at the house they found Lyerla alert and responsive because the occupants had performed CPR and given him NARCAN. On this way to the ambulance, Lyerla tried to run away but was caught quickly and taken to the hospital, police said.
“I was waiting to see if my neighbor was OK, and some guy ran out of the house and ran out of the little dead end there into the forest and into the forest,” a neighbor told KOIN. “A bunch of policemen went with them and they ran to their cars and chased after him.”
Lyerla was taken to Tuality Hospital for treatment and will be re-booked in the Washington County Jail once he is discharged. He faces a second degree felony escape charge.
Lyerla’s escape has raised questions about the security at the Washington County Community Corrections Center. The facility is a low-security work release center, where director Steve Berger says 1-2 people escape or fail to return from work release every month.
Berger said bars on the windows are against zoning regulations for that building, but window alarms alerted staff of a problem when Lyerla escaped. Staff realized it was Lyerla who was gone after doing a head count.
Hillsboro police also told KOIN they didn’t know about Lyerla’s escape until they responded to the call about his overdose.
I can’t speak to how the information is dispatched,” Berger said. “What we do is we contact non-emergency dispatch and then we let them know that an escape is on record and a warrant has been requested.”
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Lyerla was in a 2-week orientation period during which residents aren’t allowed to leave, but Lylera was restricted to his dorm area for a minor program violation.
Berger said there were no warning signs that Lyerla would try to escape and he was not considered a danger to the public. Berger emphasized that the facility is not a jail and is not meant to be a high-security location.
The sheriff’s office said the purpose of the facility, “is to transition individuals who would otherwise be released directly into the community, by providing evidence-based strategies that support positive behavior change.”