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Inmate accused of flooding Carter cell block

John Thompson • Sep 28, 2012 at 3:50 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A prisoner in the Carter County Detention Center is facing additional charges after corrections officers accused him of popping off a sprinkler head on Thursday night.

Harry Truman Head Jr., 41, is being charged with felony vandalism. Chief Deputy Ron Street said he wrapped a shirt around the sprinkler head and pulled it off. Street said several hundred gallons of water was released before the water was shut off to the cell block.

"It caused minor flooding to the block and some minor damage to a wall," Sheriff Chris Mathes said.

Street said Head will be prosecuted on the vandalism charge with the intent of getting him to reimburse the county for the cost of repairing the wall, for the water that was wasted and for the man hours used by the corrections officer and the Elizabethton Fire Department in responding to the broken sprinkler head.

Despite the flood, Mathes said the design of the new jail helped channel the water away with drains. In the old jail such a volume of water would have poured into the offices and courtrooms beneath the jail.

Corrections officials said Head was being held in the jail on pre-trial confinement following his indictment on two counts of rape of a child. He also has a hold placed on him from Bradley County.

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