Sheriff: Deputy failed to follow protocol when inmate escaped hospital

Thomas Brabham (Photo: Newport News police)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Newport News Sheriff’s Office says a deputy failed to follow proper security procedures, which led to an inmate escaping custody Wednesday.

Thomas Brabham escaped from custody at Riverside Regional Medical Center.

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.

“This incident is unfortunate. There’s no reason, based on training the deputy received, that this should have occurred,” said Sheriff Morgan. “The deputy will be dealt with accordingly and I take full responsibility as sheriff.”

The sheriff’s office says the deputy had been trained. The deputy, whose identity is being withheld, has been with the sheriff’s office for 11 months.

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.

The search for Brabham continues.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.