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.

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