Inmate escapes custody at Riverside Regional Medical Center

Thomas Brabham (Photo: Newport News police)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A jail inmate who needed medical attention somehow managed to escape the custody of deputies on Wednesday at Riverside Regional Medical Center.

The sheriff’s office identified the inmate as Thomas Brabham.

Police arrested Brabham, along with an accomplice, March 25 in connection with 14 burglaries. He’s facing 44 charges and was being held at the Newport News City Jail.

On March 28, deputies say they took Brabham to the hospital for medical attention. He was undergoing physical therapy at the hospital Wednesday when he escaped around 2:25 p.m. Hospital staff say he was wearing a blue hospital gown.

“I think that’s very frightening to realize that a person can get away,” said Shimell Glover, a hospital visitor.

A bloodhound canvassed the hospital property for some of Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators are remaining tight-lipped about what areas of the city they are searching. Hospital officials say they’re working with police to review surveillance footage.

The Newport News Police Department is assisting in the search.

The sheriff’s office said an investigation is underway to determine how Brabham escaped.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.