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Well-known fugitive captured again
May 28, 2004 12:00 am
One of Wilson County's most storied fugitives is once again back behind bars.
Wilson County Sheriff's Department officers and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents captured Roy Enoch at the home of a relative yesterday, more than a month after he walked away from the Macon County Jail.
Sheriff's Department Det. Capt. Don Hamblen said the fugitive – who developed a widespread reputation for eluding authorities in the 1970s – did not try to flee after officers found him "hiding between the mattress and the box springs in a bedroom."
"Once he knew we were there, he didn't offer any resistance at all," remarked Hamblen, who as a young patrol officer in the late 70s participated in several searches for the slippery suspect.
Hamblen credited TBI agents with searching continuously for Enoch since his most recent escape, the first he has apparently attempted in many years.
He said Enoch was quiet but apologetic as he was once again being returned to custody.
"He apologized for the trouble he caused us and just said he'd had a lot on his mind lately," Hamblen remarked.
Enoch, 50, first gained notoriety roughly a quarter-century ago with a series of successful – and occasional sensational – jail break outs, several which resulted in lengthy manhunts before he was returned to custody.
He broke out of the Wilson County Jail twice in a period of only a few months and also successfully fled the Sumner County Jail during the same period.
At one point, reportedly smitten with a teenage girl held in custody at a state-run group home, Enoch allegedly helped his young paramour escape, the two becoming the focus of yet another manhunt involving officers from numerous law enforcement agencies.
During the chase Enoch reportedly tangled with a Watertown police officer, striking the lawman with his own handgun during a struggle before fleeing once again.
Following one mid-day escape from the local jail Enoch led authorities on a massive manhunt that crisscrossed eastern Wilson County for several days before he was finally found crouching in a dried up creek bed, police dogs snarling around him. The shirtless, long-haired suspect was brought in at gunpoint by former Chief Deputy Al Cook and Sheriff Terry Ashe, who at the time was a Lebanon police detective.
Following one of Enoch's escape he seemingly vanished for several months only to be shot and wounded by authorities in Alabama following a chase there. At the time, police said the fugitive had met and married an Alabama preacher's daughter who was unaware he was being sought by authorities.
Upon his return to Lebanon a heavily bandaged Enoch had little to say about his time spent in Alabama except for a single, offhand remark to a reporter just as he was led back into jail.
"Man, they're crazy down there," Enoch said.
Enoch was placed on the TBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list at the urging of local authorities several weeks ago, according to a written statement from the bureau. He was being sought on felony escape charges for walking away from the Macon County lock-up, where he was serving a sentence for burglary on a work detail.
Hamblen said Macon County authorities arrived late yesterday to return Enoch to custody there.