Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 12, 2007

Tip leads police to escaped juveniles

One adult male also taken into custody

By Gary Nelson / gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com

Among the buzz of construction saws and the pounding of hammers, three juveniles who were on the lam and one adult were taken into custody Thursday afternoon at the America's Best Value Inn on N. Main St. in Crossville.

A half-eaten ham and cheese sandwich on the nightstand, a table loaded with empty cans of Mountain Dew Live Wire and a ripped-open bag of potato chips portrayed a scene of an interrupted lunch in room 219 where the four were taken into custody. The group had only been there for a short period of time.

"Something really funny about it was that when we came in, they (were) sitting around watching police chase scenes on TV," said Sgt. Roy Kemmer of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department.

Kemmer, Detective Kendall Hargis of the Crossville Police Department, and Cpl. David Hamby of the sheriff's department responded to a tip and went to the hotel.

"We got a tip that the juveniles were in room 219 and that they were with one adult, Josh McIntire," Cpl. Hargis said. "We basically went in and took them into custody without incident."

Hargis explained that the capture was a joint effort between both the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department and the Crossville Police. Hargis explained that McIntire was the person who rented the motel room.

The juveniles, Jeff "Will" Bell, Tyler Flowers and Samuel Wilfong were transported to the Justice Center for processing as well as McIntire. Hargis said the case remains under investigation and was unsure of what charges the group was facing.

Sheriff's Department Investigator Casey Cox said McIntire was released after investigation and that evidence would be presented to an upcoming session of the Grand Jury. Juvenile petitions would be signed against the three juveniles, Cox said.

"They will be charged with multiple counts of burglary and theft," Cox said.

He also said that most of the guns that had been taken were recovered and that between 15-20 guns were missing.

"We recovered several of the guns from a Claysville Rd. residence after executing a search warrant over the weekend," Cox said.

The case began Monday night after a juvenile detention officer was knocked unconscious and locked in a jail cell and the three juveniles escaped. Juvenile detention officer William B. Jones, 61, was taken by ambulance to Cumberland Medical Center's emergency room where he was treated and later released.

Around 11:45 p.m. Monday, Bell asked Jones to give him some of his clothes and when Jones opened the cell door, Bell allegedly grabbed him and pulled him inside. One of the other two escapees jumped on the jailer's back and Jones was knocked unconscious, according to Crossville Police Sgt. Bart Riden's report.

The three were publicly identified by authorities because they were linked to one residential burglary, and may be responsible for others in the area of Plateau Rd. from U.S. 70 N to Linder Loop.

All three juveniles remain in custody and the case remains under investigation.