Cocke County sheriff slams door in Newport police chief's face

Cocke County sheriff slams door in Newport police chief's face

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"I requested several times that he not enter into the jail. He attempted to enter the jail. I shut the door in his face," Sheriff Armando Fontes said. "I requested several times that he not enter into the jail. He attempted to enter the jail. I shut the door in his face," Sheriff Armando Fontes said.
"The situation is something that I feel like we need to put behind us and let Newport and Cocke County go on and live their lives," Chief Maurice Shults said. "The situation is something that I feel like we need to put behind us and let Newport and Cocke County go on and live their lives," Chief Maurice Shults said.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) - Newport Police Chief Maurice Shults and Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes are trying to get past an incident when the chief says the sheriff injured him.

Chief Shults says Sheriff Fontes slammed the booking room door on him and hurt his shoulder.

The sheriff admits he slammed the door after the capture of escaped Carter County inmates last week, but says the chief did not appear injured until after the fact.

"I requested several times that he not enter into the jail. He attempted to enter the jail. I shut the door in his face," Sheriff Fontes said.

"It was at that time he attempted to enter in a second door, attempted to enter the jail again. I confronted him once again and basically informed him that he doesn't have the legal right to enter into the building unless he has permission," Fontes explained.

Chief Shults complained of the injury after a city alderman arrived to investigate the situation.

"It's very clear in the (surveillance) video that he made no indication of any injury until well after his bosses arrived, and that's when he began to claim he had an injury," Fontes said.

Chief Shults says the incident is behind him. "It's just a situation that happened. Our opinions were different. The situation is something that I feel like we need to put behind us and let Newport and Cocke County go on and live their lives," he said.

The chief has picked up papers to run for sheriff in the past.

"He has that right. In the meantime, he has the responsibility to lay politics aside, to serve the people and to do the job that needs to be done. When the campaign comes around, then begin working on the campaign," Sheriff Fontes said.

Chief Shults says he hasn't finalized his decision to run, but has not ruled the idea out either. "I started my career at the Cocke County Sheriff's Office in the early 1980s and that's been a goal, to be the sheriff at some point," he explained.

Sheriff Fontes says he and his office will continue to assist the police department when necessary and added that he has a very good relationship with the rest of the office.

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