ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thursday marks three weeks since a Cheatham County prisoner escaped from corrections officers at an Ashland City hospital, leading to a multi-hour manhunt.
Ricky Roach, 41, wanted to talk about the events of May 26, but when News 2 arrived at the Cheatham County Jail Thursday morning, he abruptly canceled the interview.
However, News 2 obtained new footage of that day that helps better explain the multi-hour manhunt that had much of the Ashland City Police Department and the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Department on alert.
Body camera footage shows the moments after the escapee was apprehended.
He was lying in a ditch, with a gash to his leg.
Cheatham County Sheriff Lt. Ken Miller called for medics and tried to stop the bleeding.
“He cut his leg coming out of the woods,” Miller said. “He has a three inch laceration on his left shin,” he said to arriving officers.
According to jail staff, Roach reportedly fell off a bike he stole, landing on a broken bottle slicing open the front of his leg.
“I’ve been dealing with Mr. Roach for quite some time, pretty much my whole career here actually,” Miller said.
Miller says it all started hours earlier at the hospital in Ashland City. That’s where a relatively new corrections officer was transporting Roach when he reportedly made a break for it.
“What we are hearing is he may have shoved the guard down. [Roach] disputes that. There wasn’t video in the room. So we have to go with what our officer said. but it wasn’t a fight,” Miller said.
During the height of the manhunt, officers from Ashland City and the county scoured neighborhoods to deep woods.
“We were able to find a bicycle, a 10 speed bike, or a mountain bike of some sort. He was able to ride around on that, evade us on that for a little while. He said he used some army tactics. I don’t know if he was in the military or not, but he was able to get outside our perimeter,” Miller said.
Around 6 p.m., a reserve off duty Ashland City police officer spotted Roach, holding him at gunpoint until the other officers arrived.
“Then they heard me hollering, telling him to, ‘Get on the ground, now,'” officer Steven Ellis said.
Deputies say Roach stole two bikes; one was a child’s bike that was seen next to him during his arrest.
“We actually figured out who that belongs to a few days ago. He reached out to us; we put something out there and it was one he had been storing in a barn to give to Goodwill,” Miller said.
For his two hours of freedom, deputies charged Roach with two brand new felonies that include escape and assault.
When asked why he ran, deputies say Roach claims he just wanted to see his kids.