Feds to assume most of shot kidnapping suspect's mammoth med bill
MOORHEAD Moorhead and Clay County officials breathed a sigh of relief when federal authorities assumed responsibility for kidnapping suspect Vincent Degidio Jr.'s hospital bills. Although local police and sheriff departments face thousands of dol...
Moorhead and Clay County officials breathed a sigh of relief when federal authorities assumed responsibility for kidnapping suspect Vincent Degidio Jr.'s hospital bills.
Although local police and sheriff departments face thousands of dollars in medical bills for Degidio, city officials said Tuesday it could have been a lot worse.
The cost of treatment provided to Degidio by Merit Care and Innovis Health of Fargo before he was transferred to federal custody is estimated at $63,150, a bill the county and city plan to split evenly.
"Federal intervention saved the taxpayers from significantly higher bills that would have been associated with this case," said Moorhead City Manager Michael Redlinger. "It was very expensive medical care, so it was important to keep the cost as limited as possible."
Degidio, 28, was wounded after a gun battle with law enforcement in south Moorhead. He was hospitalized and later transferred to a federal prison hospital in South Carolina.
The county has already paid the entire bill out of its unanticipated expenses fund, said Michelle Winkis, an assistant Clay County attorney. Moorhead city officials will reimburse the county, she said.
"Law enforcement incurs liability in the course of injury when a person is being apprehended," said Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger.
Degidio remains in a medical facility, and Ebinger estimates those costs are reaching up to $1 million.
When Degidio was taken into federal custody, the city and county were off the hook for the suspect's medical care, Redlinger said.
Court documents say Degidio abducted a woman from her Fargo home on April 3 and forced her at gunpoint to drive to Moorhead, where he threatened to rape and kill her.
The woman, who was pistol-whipped, escaped and called 911. A manhunt ensued and officers shot Degidio after he raised a handgun in a face-off with police in south Moorhead.
He is charged in federal court with kidnapping, being a felon in possession of a firearm and using a firearm to commit a violent crime.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.