An inmate discovered dead at the Hamblen County Jail late Sunday night has been identified as Robert B. Rush, 38, of Morristown.
Detective Sgt. Jim Brooks said Tuesday that Rush had been found dead around 11:40 p.m. Sunday night in the Hamblen County Jail. He said an autopsy had been conducted, but the report was not available yet, so authorities are withholding a cause of death.
Brooks said Rush was at the front of the jail under observation when he was found.
“There were other inmates around him,” Brooks said.
According to an arrest report, Rush was arrested for public intoxication by the Morristown Police Department around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Authorities said officers were dispatched to West Morris Boulevard to investigate a possible intoxicated man and when they arrived, Rush was sitting in the grass with no shoes, no shirt and black pants on.
He was flailing around and would not sit still, the report said.
The report said his pupils were dilated and bloodshot.
“Mr. Rush was exhibiting the signs of impairment from a narcotic or possibly methamphetamine,” the report stated.
He was placed under arrest and transported to the Hamblen County Jail, the report said.
Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said Monday that he wanted to speak with the Morristown Police Department about the incident and said if someone is exhibiting medical issues then he didn’t “want them in my jail.”
Morristown Police Department Chief Roger Overholt issued a statement Monday.
“I have reviewed the videos of the arrest of Mr. Rush which occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. (Sunday) afternoon,” the statement said. “There is no physical indication of trauma or medical distress displayed by him. Mr. Rush was coherent and moving about freely in our officers’ video though he appears to be under the influence of some intoxicant. We were informed (Monday) morning that Mr. Rush died during the night. This is a very unfortunate event and we extend our condolences to Mr. Rush’s family and friends.”