A heavily tattooed neo-Nazi inmate briefly escaped custody yesterday following the murder of his guard. Authorities say 27-year-old Curtis Michael Allgier overpowered his 60-year-old guard during a medical exam at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, gained control of the guard’s firearm, and shot the corrections officer in the head. The officer, Stephen Anderson, died at the scene.
Following the murder, Allgier escaped the hospital and led police on a high-speed chase in a carjacked Ford SUV. Spike strips were deployed and the suspect’s car was partially disabled.
The suspect fled into an Arby’s fast-food restaurant and reportedly threatened the customers at gunpoint, pistol whipping one. Details are sketchy, but police say a 59-year-old customer inside the Arby’s disarmed the inmate. Allgier ran from the restaurant but was quickly captured by Salt Lake Police.
Allgier is now in the Salt Lake City jail awaiting charges. Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller is expected to charge Allgier with murder and weapons violation. She told the Salt Lake Tribune that she would consider charging Allgier with capital murder, which is punishable by death.
A member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang and other white supremacist organizations, Allgier has a long criminal history of burglary and weapons violations and parole violations. Almost every inch of his face is tattooed with distinctive Aryan symbols.
Authorities say that Allgier was taken to the hospital by Anderson so that the inmate could have an MRI exam performed on his back, which he reportedly injured fleeing a police SWAT team months earlier. It is Utah State Corrections policy to have one guard accompany an inmate for medical procedures at public hospitals. Allgier’s metal restraints had to be removed and replaced with flex-cuffs before he could enter the MRI machine. Authorities speculate that this necessary procedure gave Allgier an opportunity to attack Anderson.
Corrections Officer Stephen Anderson was a 22-year veteran of the department. He enjoyed his work as a transportation officer so much that he declined retirement for two years after he reached eligibility. He leaves a wife, five children, and 16 grandchildren. Warden Steve Turley told the Salt Lake Tribune that even inmates of the Uinta Four maximum security prison where Anderson worked were shaken by the popular guard’s murder.