Loudon sheriff suspends 4 officers in escape fiasco

Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider today suspended four officers in connection with a suspect who escaped three times in 10 hours.

Two corrections officers and two deputies guarding a suspect at a hospital each have been suspected three days without pay, Guider said today.

At the center of the action was 18-year-old Joshua O’Brien Hayworth, of Loudon who faces two counts of escape, felony theft, felony fleeing and vandalism, the sheriff said. Hayworth was being held in the Loudon County Jail without bond.

Guider said the action involving Hayworth began about 2 p.m. Sunday when authorities were alerted that a late ’90s Ford Crown Victoria was operated in an erratic manner on Harrison Road near Lenoir City High School. The license plate information called in by a citizen showed the car had been reported stolen earlier Sunday in Lenoir City, Guider said.

Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Aikens encountered the car on Sugarlimb Road near Hotchkiss Valley Road and a short chase resulted, the sheriff said. Hayworth abandoned the car in a field and fled on foot.

At 5 p.m., Hayworth was in custody.

“A resident called in and said they think they had our boy,” Guider said. “He had come out of the woods near our search area and wanted something to drink.”

The resident put Hayworth in a shed with something cool to drink and that’s where officers got him without a struggle, the sheriff said.

At the jail, a corrections officer removed Hayworth’s ankle shackles and handcuffs after placing him in a holding cell in the booking room. When the officer turned his back to check on another inmate, Hayworth “darted behind the officer and out he went” through an open door, Guider said.

Another door in the sally port area also was left open, providing access to the outside, Guider said. Hayworth used the hood of a car as a trampoline and boosted himself to the top of the chain-link fence equipped with barbed wire and flipped over the fence.

That prompted a second search – this one involving the Knox County Sheriff’s Office helicopter – of the wooded area around the jail. That search ended at 9:30 p.m. when Hayworth was found “a couple hundred yards from the jail in the thick brush,” Guider said.

Because a police dog that helped located Hayworth also got a bite in on the suspect, officers took him to the Fort Sanders Loudon Medical Center for treatment. Hayworth was in ankle shackles and handcuffs as he was wheeled away in a wheelchair by an officer after being treated.

The officer with Hayworth let loose one of the handcuffs when the suspect said he needed to use a restroom. As the officer pushed the wheelchair to the restroom door, Hayworth bolted from the chair and into the restroom. Hayworth locked the door, which allowed him enough time to climb into the hospital ceiling, Guider said.

“A few minutes later, they pulled him down,” the sheriff said.

At 12:20 a.m., Hayworth again was in custody.

Although Hayworth turned 18 in May, he already has accumulated a criminal history, Guider said. On June 21, Loudon Police Department officers charged Hayworth with evading arrest and theft. On June 30, LPD officers charged him with theft and aggravated robbery, the sheriff said.

More details as they develop online and in Tuesday’s News Sentinel.

source: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/sep/22/loudon-sheriff-suspends-4-officers-escape-fiasco/

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