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Down the drain: Prisoners escape Tennessee in prison by broken toilet

From left to right: John Thomas Shehee, Harce Wade Allen, Eric S. Click and David Wayne Frazier.

(Cocke County Sheriff’s Department)

The manhunt is on for a quartet of escapees that fled from a Tennessee prison by a leaking toilet.

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Officials for the Cocke County Sheriff’s office said six of the prisoners who were originally their getaway early christmas morning, according to KOMO news. They added that the breakout was prompted by a water leak that was behind a prison toilet.

“The bolts that the unit is corroded and there was, before the damage to the concrete due to plumbing repairs,” the police told ABC News.

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Previous repairs to plumbing lead to a weakening of the concrete to encase the wall unit toilet and also the cause of the bolts of the unit to be rusted, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.


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John Mark Speir (l.) was found in a house that was in the vicinity of the prison and Steven Lewis (r.) was apprehended after a foot chase with the police.

(Cocke County Sheriff’s Department)

The prisoners know to remove the toilet from the wall and crawled through a hole in the wall so they are out of country prison facility.

Two of the prisoners are held.

Steven Lewis, 37, was apprehended after a foot chase with the police and John Mark Speir, 38, was found in a house that was near the prison. According to the Sheriff’s office, two men were charged with allegedly helping Speir. Jarred Schoondermarks, 30, and Daniel Speir, 29, were charged with harboring a fugitive.

But apart from John Thomas Shehee, 28, Harce Wade Allen, 28, Eric S. Click, 29, and David Wayne Frazier, 54.

Frazier is regarded as the most dangerous according to WATE 6. He was in custody for aggrivated theft and possession of a weapon.

Shehee was facing charges for arson and criminal trespassing and theft of property. All probation had been violated, and was in the middle of the cover of a 45-day sentence. Click was being held, on charges of evading arrest and a series of probation violations.

Anyone with information that leads to the whereabouts of the other four alleged escapees is urged to call the sheriff’s office in 423-623-2064 or the prison in 423-623-6023.

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