Video: Tenn. suspect grabs officer's gun, takes hostages

Newly released video shows how a suspect went from the back of a squad car to taking a room full of people hostage


By PoliceOne Staff

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. — New video released to the public shows how an arrestee went from the back of a squad car to taking a room full of people at a county jail hostage.

WKRN reports that Officer Karl Haynie was bringing James McCutchen to the Sumner County jail for booking; he removes McCutchen from the back of the squad car. McCutchen has his hands secured in front, due to complaint of injury.

When Haynie turns his back on McCutchen for just a moment, the arrestee jumps into the front seat of the squad and runs over the officer. McCutchen then grabs the officer’s unsecured shotgun from the front seat and runs into the visitor’s center, where he took a group of 30 jail visitors hostage.

McCutchen was eventually subdued by a civilian and a correctional officer.

According to police who investigated the incident, Haynie committed a number of errors that led to McCutchen’s escape. The first was allowing him to be handcuffed in the front; the second was removing McCutchen from the back seat of the squad while waiting to bring him into the booking area.

Third, Haynie left his shotgun loaded and unsecured in the front seat, where McCutchen had immediate access to it.

And lastly, Haynie left his vehicle running. He said he pushed the lock button and close the door, but that model of vehicle doesn’t lock when the vehicle is running, which allowed McCutchen to get into the car.

Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford said he sent a letter to every police chief across the county to remind them of the rules when inside the secured entryway to a correctional center, including keeping prisoners handcuffed behind their backs and in the back of a locked squad car until they’re ready to be taken inside.

Weatherford said there is no money in the budget to add extra security to the visitation center, which is open 24 hours a day.

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