UPDATE:  The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says Anthony L. Bell has been captured on Monday.

Bell escaped custody on Sunday while being treated at Erlanger for unknown reasons.

Chief Deputy Austin Garrett says Bell was found near the N. Germantown Road area around 5:00 on Monday evening.

The arrest report says Bell was found at an apartment in the area. 

Garrett says Bell was still wearing the handcuffs he was in when he escaped but had cut through the chains.

Garrett says Bell was wearing different clothes from what he changed into at a local tire store shortly after his escape from custody on Sunday.

The arrest report says Bell broke into a candy machine and another vending machine to steal money. The report says Bell broke into a locker room at the business and took clothing.

The HCSO could not provide details on how Bell was found, if he was alone when taken into custody, or a time line of what Bell's activity in the last 35 hours.

Garrett says Bell is now in the Hamilton County Jail.

The arrest report says Bell is charged with escape from penal institution, burglary, two counts of vandalism/malicious mischief, and two counts of theft of property.

He is scheduled to appear in court on July 15.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS UPDATE: An internal affairs investigation is underway to determine why Anthony Bell was not wearing leg shackles when he escaped out a main entrance of Erlanger Medical Center. 

According to Chief Deputy Austin Garrett, he and Sheriff Jim Hammond activated the internal investigation to determine if department policies and procedures were followed leading up to Bell's escape.

"An inmate being transported to a healthcare facility or anything outside our correctional facility has to be handcuffed and have leg shackles (leg restraints) on," Garrett told Channel 3 Monday. "The only way those are supposed to come off is if they are receiving medical care and it's at the direction of the medical provider and there are procedures in place for when those come off."

"Erlanger contracts its security to a private company so I can't speak to the training that they require, they may provide some, but they are not responsible for our prisoners," said Garrett. "We are responsible for our prisoners. Erlanger is not responsible for them. The private security company is not. Of course, they are there to help, but that's not their responsibility, that's ours."

Meanwhile, a criminal investigation is also underway as the search for Bell continues into day two. 

Garrett says Bell has changed clothes since his escape in a green hospital gown. Garrett says he picked up a change of clothes when he burglarized a tire business on Riverside Drive about seven hours after his escape.

"We knew that he had changed clothes yesterday, we just could not validate what he could possibly be wearing until employees were able to inventory their belongings this morning," said Garrett. "So, early this morning our detectives met with those employees and as they itemized things they were able to discover he, in fact, took a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt."

Garrett says the department will not scale its search back, vowing to actively pursue Bell until he is back in custody. To do that, the department is utilizing partnerships with state and federal agencies. 

Garrett says Bell, who was being held on a long list of violent crimes, will face felony escape and burglary charges. 

Garrett says if anyone sees Bell it should be considered an emergency and they should call 911 immediately.

Channel 3 will have team coverage of this story on air and inside the WRCB app beginning at 4 p.m.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has released what they believe escapee Anthony Bell is now wearing.  Bell was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt and blue jeans.

Bell took a uniform from a  staff member at Professional Industrial Tire.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has located the hospital gown and bracelet they believe Anthony Bell was wearing when he escaped custody.

According to an update, shared on the department's Facebook page, Chattanooga Police responded to reports of a commercial burglary at 1532 Riverside Drive around 2 p.m. Sunday.

When police arrived they found the business had been burglarized. Officer located Bell's hospital identification bracelet and the green hospital gown he was wearing when he escaped.

"Due to the availability of various types of work clothes located in the business, we are not able to give an accurate description of what Bell is wearing at this time," the post read.

The sheriff's department is asking residents and business owners, especially along Riverside Drive, to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity by calling police.

The TBI has added Bell to its Top 10 Most Wanted List.

 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the inmate who escaped from Erlanger early Sunday morning.

Chief Deputy Austin Garrett identifies the inmate as 29-year-old Anthony Labron Bell, who has a violent criminal history.

According to court documents, Bell was arrested on May 11 on six counts of aggravated robbery, assault, aggravated burglary, unlawful possession of a weapon, bribery of a public servant, felony possession of a firearm, and possession of marijuana. The case was sent to a grand jury to determine if the case against Bell will move to Hamilton County Criminal Court. 

Garrett says Bell was transported to Erlanger on July 5. He could not share the reason for his hospital visit due to privacy restrictions. 

Bell fled the hospital, exiting out of what Garrett describes as a "main exit", around 6:30 Sunday morning. He was last seen wearing a green hospital gown, handcuffs, and did not have on any shoes. 

"We deemed him not to be a threat to that immediate area," said Garrett, when asked why the department waited seven hours after the escape to release Bell's name and photo.

"My investigative services unit requested a little bit of time to follow up on leads this morning to help facilitate a quicker apprehension," said Garrett. "That time has now left and we feel like for public safety and to ask the public's help we want to get his information out."

Garrett says all department resources are being put into locating Bell. The fugitive task force and U.S. Marshals are assisting in efforts to locate Bell, who Garrett says "could be anywhere."

Garrett also says there will be a full internal affairs investigation to determine if policies were violated, resulting in Bell's escape. 

Anyone who may have information about the inmate's location should contact the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at 423-622-0022.

READ MORE | Channel 3 has reported on Bell in the past. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has released a description of the man who escaped their custody five hours ago at Erlanger.

HCSO Spokesperson Matt Lea describes the inmate as "a black male, approximately 5’10” in height, weighing 160 pounds, and is (29) years old."

Lea says he was last seen wearing a green Erlanger Hospital gown and handcuffs when he escaped around 6:30 a.m. 

Lea says the inmate's name "will be coming."

The description comes after several citizens took to Facebook to respond to the department's initial press release about the escape that did not include a description.

 

Anyone who may have information about the inmate's location should contact the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at 423-622-0022.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is currently searching for an inmate who escaped custody while receiving treatment at Erlanger.

According to a press release, sent to the Channel 3 newsroom by HCSO spokesperson Matt Lea, the inmate escaped custody around 6:30 Sunday morning.

"...a Hamilton County Jail Inmate receiving medical treatment at Erlanger Hospital escaped custody," wrote Lea, who said he did not have any information about the inmate's identity or why the inmate was taken to the hospital.

"The inmate's escape from the hospital in no way impacted Erlanger," said Erlanger's Corporate Communications Director Pat Charles.

Charles says Erlanger operated "as usual" and the hospital was never on lockdown in response to the escape.

"Law enforcement would be expected to handle any search off our property," she said when asked if Erlanger's security team is assisting in the search.