Hartsville, TN — A Tennessee prisoner claims he was so desperate and in so much pain that his only choice was to escape from jail, acording to WSMV-TV.
Don Robin White Jr. said he escaped from jail to get surgery. White has previous drug and theft charges and was put in jail last month for violating probation.
“I should never have done it, but I got two kids, and I wasn’t gonna lie back there and die,” he said.
White said he was suffering from a hernia before he was even booked into the Trousdale County jail.
“When I walked in, I had my papers showing I had to have surgery, and nobody ever helped me,” he said.
As days went on, White said it kept getting worse, and he kept asking for help.
He claims he submitted three or four medical requests and that the guards also submitted a couple. But even then, White said that no doctors came to look at him.
“I lost 10 or 11 pounds within a week, just puking,” he said.
That’s when White said he took matters into his own hands and escaped from jail during recreational time on Friday. He said he walked to a friend’s house and the next stop was Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was admitted into surgery on Monday.
“They asked me why did I wait so long to come because they knew I was in a lot of pain, but I couldn’t tell them the real reason,” White said.
White told WSMV-TV upfront that he intended to turn himself in after telling his story. However, because he was a fugitive, Channel 4 had an obligation to report him to the sheriff.
WSMV-TV also wanted to hear from the sheriff about why one of his inmates claims he wasn’t given medical attention.
“I can’t really speak on any individual because of HIPAA law,” said Sheriff Ray Russell.
Russell said the responsibility falls on the medical group, Quality Healthcare, that the county contracts with.
“I actually talked to the sheriff and told him I was going to turn myself in,” White said.
Russell confirmed that did happen and that he told White to come back in.
White is now back in jail and is facing new felony charges for escaping.
WSMV-TV did reach out to Quality Healthcare for their side of the story but is waiting to hear back.