Convicted Felon Makes Daring Jailbreak - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/08/03 - Tyler

Convicted Felon Makes Daring Jailbreak

   The inmate was facing charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child. After landing on the ground, the inmate landed himself in the hospital and back in custody.

The combined forces of the Smith County Sheriff's Department and Tyler Police rapidly mobilized this afternoon. Word of the jailbreak quickly spread. The manhunt was on for Christopher Whittemore. According to the Sheriff's Department, Whittemore escaped from the exercise cell on top of the jail after two other inmates distracted the jailer. He made his way down the three stories, possibly injuring himself in the process. Whittemore was found just a block away hiding in the woods by a police dog.

Major Bobby Garmon with the Smith County Sheriff's Department said, "He didn't get far at all, I guess he was hiding. If it weren't for the dog, you could pass by and never seen him."

When he was apprehended, Whittemore complained of an injured back, and also a bite from the dog. He was awaiting trial on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and parole violations."
Garmon says the escape attempt was a desparate act. Garmon said, "When you're dealing with inmates, that's all they got is try to find someway to get out cause they got nothing else to do, and if you drop your guard one time, they can be gone. The jailer was doing his job, they just escaped from the law."

Whittemore was on the run for less than an hour.

Reid Kerr, reporting.
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