Police: Escaped prisoner held 30 hostage, injured officer - WSMV News 4

Police: Escaped prisoner held 30 hostage, injured officer

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James McCutchen (Source: Gallatin PD) James McCutchen (Source: Gallatin PD)
GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

An officer was injured during an escape attempt and hostage situation at the Sumner County Jail on Wednesday.

The incident started around 6 p.m. when 40-year-old James McCutchen was being transported to the jail by a Westmoreland officer.

According to Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford, McCutchen escaped from his handcuffs and took over the officer's vehicle, attempting to drive out of the jail's parking lot. Weatherford said they are still unsure about how McCutchen got loose from the handcuffs.

McCutchen couldn't get through the security gate, so police said he took a shotgun from inside the car and tried to escape on foot.

McCutchen then reportedly pointed the gun at a responding sheriff's deputy. The deputy fired one shot, which missed him, and McCutchen ran into the jail's visitor center and allegedly ordered 30 people to the floor at gunpoint. 

The hostage situation only lasted a couple of minutes. Weatherford said McCutchen pointed a gun at a child, which is when an adult punched him in the face and helped detain him. That's when correctional officers were able to rush in and taken McCutchen into custody. 

"It could have been terrible. It could have been extremely worse than what turned out last night," Weatherford said.

The Westmoreland officer has minor scrapes and bruises. He was taken to the hospital but has since been released.

McCutchen refused medical treatment. He was booked into jail on charges of especially aggravated kidnapping and three counts of aggravated assault, in addition to his original charges of domestic violence, vandalism and resisting arrest.

The Gallatin Police Department is reviewing surveillance video from the incident.

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