Two Inmates Escape Cocke Co. Jail

Newport, Cocke County (AP) -- Authorities in Newport say two prisoners overpowered guards and escaped early Friday morning from the Cocke County Jail.

Thirty-six-year-old Gary Harris and 29-year-old William Swafford attacked two jailers around 3:00 a.m. when the officers brought Harris medicine for a headache.

One officer suffered a broken nose and the other had bruises after the inmates jumped them and left them locked in the cell with 20 other inmates.

The inmates reportedly ran to the front office, held down a receptionist there and pressed a button to open another door to get out. Authorities did not believe the escapees were armed.

Harris was being held on burglary charges from several counties, including Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Hamblen. Swafford was due to appear in court Monday on charges of aggravated burglary.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 7226106 -
Gray Television, Inc.