Two court officers have been disciplined in the matter.
Nathaniel Caldwell was arrested on a violation of probation warrant at the Bradley County Misdemeanor Probations Office on May 28. He was to have been transported to the Bradley County Jail for booking, but court deputies failed to have him transported.
According to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for BCSO, both officers involved have received suspensions and spurred additional training planned for court security officers, as well as policy changes.
Sheriff Jim Ruth and Chief Deputy W.G. Campbell said there is no excuse for this incident, and neglect of inmates will not be tolerated by the BCSO.
“The Sheriff’s Office has policies and procedures along with established practices and customs in place that should have prevented this incident,” according to officials.
“Court service deputies arriving for work on May 28 found Caldwell, 27, locked in the cell where he was placed the previous afternoon. The investigation shows Caldwell was placed in custody and handcuffed in front with no leg shackles at the courthouse on an active probation violation warrant,” Gault said.
According to Rich Kienlin of the Bradley County Misdemeanor Probations Office, he had instructed Nathaniel Caldwell, 27, to come to his office that Monday after he had appeared in a court proceeding prior to the date of the incident.
Caldwell had entered a plea in a court hearing and was placed in the probations program, according to Kienlin after the discovery of the incident.
“When he came into the office Monday, our computer showed he had new felony charges and he was taken into custody by court officers on a violation of probation,” Kienlin said.
Kienlin noted Caldwell was arrested and handcuffed at approximately 3:30 p.m. and taken to the holding cell, which is located on the second floor of the Bradley County Courthouse.
That particular holding area has no restroom, according to officials, and Caldwell was discovered the next morning.
“Sheriff Ruth and Chief Campbell extend an apology to Mr. Caldwell and his family on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office for this incident,” he added.
Campbell said even though it was unintentional, this was a mistake by two court deputies who have been held accountable for their actions.
The deputies have been disciplined over the incident and the arresting deputy received a 20-day suspension and the direct supervisor received a 10-day suspension, according to Gault.