An incident at the Rhea County Jail where an inmate was able smuggle a knife into a holding cell ended Friday after county law enforcement officials were forced to taze Estan Knox when he threatened to harm himself, law enforcement officials said.
Rhea County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy John Argo said Knox was able to smuggle the knife into the holding cell in his shoes and was not a threat to any guards or officers.
"They put him in the holding cell," Argo said. "He wasn't a threat to anyone but himself."
Resistant individuals who are arrested and brought to the jail, Argo said, are placed in a holding cell prior to being thoroughly searched and prepared for booking.
Argo said law enforcement officials initially attempted to negotiate with Knox, but were forced to taze him to wrest the knife away.
"After [Knox] calmed down, there really wasn't an issue," Argo said.
The jailhouse incident followed after a tense moment at the Rhea County Courthouse on Friday, where Knox was arrested for allegedly resisting arrest, assault on an officer and a failure to appear, according to the arrest report on file at the Rhea County Sheriff's Department.
Circuit Court Clerk Jamie Holloway said Knox was due to stand trial on Friday for aggravated burglary but did not show up.
According to the arrest report, Knox was contacted by bail bondsman Brent Massengle after his failure to appear in circuit court and was eventually persuaded to come to the courthouse.
However, the report states that Massengale said Knox allegedly told him "he would not go back to jail [and] that he would have to be killed first and that Estan [Knox] was talking crazy like he was on dope."
In a joint effort between the sheriff's department and Dayton Police Department, deputies and officers shut down the courthouse because Knox was purportedly "coming to the Rhea County Courthouse possibly armed," the report states. Civilians who were present in the building were evacuated out a side door.
When Knox arrived at the courthouse, officers attempted an arrest, but Knox allegedly resisted, according to the report.
"He started fighting, swinging his arms and grabbing my arms, causing scratches to my wrist," deputy Kenny Cox wrote in the arrest report. "I did a search of Estan Knox while in the courthouse and didn't find any weapons. The search consisted of his pockets and jacket pockets."
Argo said that Knox was resisting officers during his transportation across the Court Street parking lot and into the Rhea County Jail and broke one officer's finger. Because of the resistance, Knox was placed in the holding cell to calm down before a more thorough search could be made, according to Argo.
While still handcuffed, Knox was allegedly able to maneuver his hands from behind his back to the front, Argo said, and pull the knife that was tucked in his shoes.
During the brief standoff, deputies from the sheriff's department, Dayton Police Department and the Graysville Police Department responded to the jail. Ambulances from Rhea
Emergency Medical Services were also on hand after responding to the incident, but no required medical attention.
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