NEWPORT, Tennessee — Six hardened criminals pulled off a Christmas Day breakout from a Tennessee jail, crawling out through a busted toilet in a scene straight out of the film, “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Investigators say the men managed to escape from the Cocke County Jail in the early morning hours of Christmas morning by tearing a toilet away from a wall.
“The inmates escaped after a water leak occurred behind a wall unit stainless steel toilet,” the Cocke County Sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Apparently the bolts holding the unit rusted out and there was prior damage to the concrete due to plumbing repairs. The inmates vandalized the lavatory removing it from the wall and gained access to a hole which led outside of the facility,”
Most of the men didn’t get very far.
Authorities say Steven Lewis, 37, was quickly nabbed after a foot chase and John Mark Speir, 38, was captured at a nearby home. Two men, Jarred Schoondermarks, 30, and Daniel Speir, 29, were charged with harboring a fugitive.
Two other inmates, Eric Click and Harce Wade Allen, were captured the following day. Police say Allen was taken into custody by undercover narcotics officers. Later that day, a fifth inmate,
John Shehee, turned himself in after his father convinced him to give himself up.
The sixth man, David Wayne Frazier, 54, is considered to be the most dangerous of the group, and was awaiting trial on aggravated robbery and weapons charges.