Deputy locks himself in cell, tries to shoot his way out

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An Adair County security officer is out of a job after officials say the man accidentally locked himself in a holding cell. However, it wasn't that mistake that cost him his job. It was what he did next.

Upstairs the Adair County courthouse was in the middle of its first full day, but downstairs in a basement holding cell, things were off to a rough start. For many in Adair County, the transition from the old courthouse to the new $12.4 million facility was a long anticipated source of pride, which is why some like Amy Thompson couldn't believe reports that Sheriff's Deputy Charles Wright tried to shoot his way out when he accidentally locked himself in one of the new holding cells. "I was shocked," Thompson said, "It was the first day the new Judicial Center had opened, and for something like that to happen was pretty shocking."

Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident. As a result, locals started having a little fun at Wright's expense. "He has been compared to Barney Fife, just a little joke around town," Thompson said.

Adair Sheriff Ralph Curry tells 27 Newsfirst that Wright suffers from claustrophobia. That explanation has drawn sympathy from some in the community. Adair County's Matthew Malave say he too suffers from claustrophobia, so he knows the condition comes with certain responsibilities. "He should have let them know," Malave said, "and they could have probably avoided that to some extent."

The sheriff tells us he still thinks highly of Charles Wright, but he doubts he'll be able to give him back his job.

The courthouse security officers are deputies of the Adair County Sheriff's Department, but their costs are reimbursed by the Kentucky administrative office of the courts.

Sheriff Curry tells 27 Newsfirst Wright has agreed to pay for damages to the building.

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