Inmates Escape from Jail Through Hole in Wall Behind Toilet

Cocke County Sheriff's Department
Cocke County Sheriff's Department

Six inmates escaped from an eastern Tennessee jail by ripping a toilet from a concrete wall and climbing out a hole behind it to freedom.

The inmates escaped Christmas morning from the Cocke County Jail Annex in Newport, east of Knoxville and close to the Virginia border, WXIN reported.

Five of the inmates have been recaptured, but one was still on the loose as of Tuesday, according to Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes.

The inmates escaped after a water leak took place behind one of the stainless steel toilets attached to a wall, the county sheriff’s office said.

The bolts holding it in place rusted, and prior plumbing repairs weakened the concrete enough that the inmates could rip the toilet out of the wall and gain access to a hole that led them outside the facility, the sheriff’s office added.

“They were able to kick out some concrete that was easily broken along with some plumbing,” Fontes told WATE.

“We’ve had multiple issues with this facility concerning water breaks, sewage breaks, deterioration of the facility,” he said.

Four inmates were captured, and another turned himself into authorities. One of them was involved in a foot chase with police, and another was found in a home near the jail, Fox News reported.

One inmate, David Wayne Frazier, 54, is still on the loose and is considered dangerous, WATE reported.

Frazier is awaiting trial for aggravated robbery and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.