COCKE COUNTY - A Cocke County inmate that escaped while unloading a food truck Wednesday morning has been arrested.
Inmate Kenneth Carl Rathbone, 56, allegedly ran from the jail along the riverbank behind Brown's Funeral Home. Investigators said he was captured about an hour later.
After Wednesday's escape, Sheriff Fontes thanked all the officers involved in the quick response.
"The officers involved worked very well to apprehend this individual. This is yet another example of an inadequate jail facility which is in need of a secure loading dock and a secure perimeter to prevent the escape of all inmates. I am very thankful that no one was injured in the incident," Sheriff Fontes said.
After Rathbone escaped the sight of jail authorities, he changed clothing and entered the river where authorities were escaping the area.
According to the release, a second witness saw Rathbone walk from the river onto Cope Boulevard about 1.5 miles from the jail. The witness was able to tell authorities to where the inmate was going next.
A two-block perimeter was set up by the Cocke County Sheriff's Office and Newport Police Department officers. Rathbone was seen standing behind a tree and started walking toward the road. When officers saw him and told him to stop, he started running.
According to the release, he was shocked in the chest with a stun gun when he turned to look at officers and he fell to the ground, face first.
Rathbone escaped around 9:20 a.m. and was arrested at 10:34 a.m. on White Oak Avenue. He has been a trustee since May and assisted in unloading food trucks on several occasions but decided to escape Wednesday.
The Cocke County Sheriff's Office said he was in jail for failure to appear, driving while revoked, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to exercise due care, and reckless endangerment.
Rathbone was serving a 2-year sentence on his charges and will now face jail escape charges.
He was shipped to the Claiborne County Jail.
This isn't the first time an inmate has escaped the Cocke County jail in the past year.
On Christmas morning, six inmates escaped the Cocke County Jail.
The inmates managed to escape through a hole behind a toilet. Authorities said the bolts holding the unit had rusted out and there was prior damage to the concrete due to plumbing repairs.
The inmates removed the toilet from the wall and gained access to a hole that led outside the facility. The hole was left behind from the plumbing repairs, Sheriff Armando Fontes said in December 2016.
"We’ve had multiple issues with this facility concerning water breaks, sewage breaks, deterioration of the facility," Fontes said. "It’s a never ending task to try to keep this place and this facility operational.”
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