Prisoners Escape By Removing Toilet From Jail Wall

John Mark Speir

The manhunt is on for a quartet of escapees who fled a Tennessee jail through a leaky toilet.

Media reports quote the Cocke County Sheriff's Office as saying six inmates escaped from the jail early Sunday after removing a toilet from the wall and going through a hole behind it that led to the outside of the facility. They added that the breakout was prompted by a water leak that was behind a jail toilet.

The sheriff said prior to the escape, plumbing repairs performed on the toilet had weakened the concrete connecting it to the wall.

Two of the inmates have already been apprehended.

Steven Edward Lewis
Steven Edward Lewis

The Cocke County Sheriff's Office says a third inmate, Eric Click, was arrested Monday afternoon during a traffic stop in Newport.

According to police, Speir was captured "at a residence in the Cosby community", whereas Lewis "was captured after a foot chase by officers in the Carson Springs community".

Police said they consider Childers unsafe and urged people in the area to lock their vehicle doors, house doors, and not make any contact with him. And two of the Tennessee residents who allowed him into their house were charged with harboring a fugitive. He was in custody for aggrivated robbery and possession of a weapon.

Shehee was facing criminal charges for arson, criminal trespassing and property theft under $500. Click was being held on charges of evading arrest and a series of probation violations. Allen was serving a 45-day jail sentence.

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