Inmate escapes van

By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 26, 2014
Jeffery Wayne Medley

A teen in custody for a misdemeanor probation violation escaped from a Sheriff's Office van during transfer from his court appearance Wednesday.

Jeffery Wayne Medley, 18, was being transported back to the detention center when he escaped from the van on North Main Street in front of the historic courthouse.

Nancy Swanger, who was parked in her van in front of the historic courthouse, said she saw Medley jump from the van and fall on the ground before crossing the road.

"I was laying on my horn trying to let the driver of the van know what was happening," she said.

She then saw him run on the sidewalk in front of the historic courthouse and then disappear down an alley. He ran past a group the group of anti-war protesters who assemble on the old courthouse lawn every Wednesday between 4 and 5 p.m.

While fleeing, Medley lost both jail issued orange sandals, which were left lying on the sidewalk as he ran to a nearby trailer park, where he was arrested shortly thereafter.

He had been in court on an order for arrest for a misdemeanor probation violation, according to a press release from the Haywood County Sheriff's Office.

Exactly how he managed to escape from the van is still under investigation said Deputy Heidi Warren, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office. The vehicle was secure, she added.

Medley has been charged with misdemeanor escape and property damage in excess of $200 for damage to the van.