A man in handcuffs remains at large after bolting from the back of a deputy’s patrol car Tuesday night.
The escapee, Dustin Gushwa, was headed to Warren County Jail for violating his probation when he was able to slip out of the back of the sheriff’s department vehicle as it was fueling at the county gas pumps on Beersheba Street.
“We went and picked him up in Chattanooga on a violation of probation warrant and he was in the process of being brought back here when the deputy ran low on gas and stopped to fill his tank,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny, noting that while pumping gas the deputy was approached by a woman who began talking to him. “He saw the car rock once and turned around and told the inmate to settle down.”
It was a couple of minutes later the deputy saw the inmate running away from the patrol car.
“He was able to slip out of his shackles somehow, but he was still handcuffed while he was running away,” said Matheny, pointing out the escape happened just before sunset Tuesday. “It got dark almost immediately after that and he was able to get away.”
Authorities do not believe the escape was planned, but instead believe Gushwa capitalized on the deputy being distracted which gave him opportunity to dart from the patrol car.
Matheny said Gushwa lives in Warren County and has been in trouble here and in Georgia over the years. His most recent trouble with the law here had to do with a domestic violence incident.
Matheny said there is an nationwide alert for Gushwa and he is confident he will be captured before too long.
“We are working a few leads so hopefully we’ll get him pretty soon,” Matheny said.
Anyone with information can contact the sheriff’s department at 473-7863.