Suspect simply walks out of police HQ


By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento police suffered the indignity of having a suspect in custody simply walk out the door of the local police station on May 17.

The incident was of a kind that “has never happened before and will likely never happen again,” said Sergeant Nathan Steele.

38-year old Melissa Dodd had been arrested early that morning after an all-night hostage situation on Marston Street, in which police believed she was holding her mother against her will. The situation was resolved when SWAT team members entered the house – although Dodd apparently cut her wrists at about the time they broke in, creating minor injuries.

“The day she was arrested, she was brought back to the Police Department (whose headquarters are on Triangle Court at Jefferson Boulevard), after receiving medical treatment, for questioning,” said Sgt. Steele.

“An interviewer left her in an interview room for a short period of time, believing the room was secure. She was able to open one of the doors, and left the P.D.”

Dodd’s liberty didn’t last long.

“We located her within a few minutes and peacefully took her into custody,” said Steele. Police picked her up a few blocks away from the police station, near E and 7th streets.

How did she get out of the interview room?

“We think at this time that the door wasn’t locked,” said Steele.

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