Todd C. Moudy, 46, commandeered the white Madison County Sheriff’s Office van, which is used to transport prisoners, about 11:05 a.m. Friday, the television station reported.
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker said Moudy was being transferred back to jail after a felony bond hearing, WLBT reported. His bond was revoked, and Moudy said he did not want to go back to jail, Tucker said.
"The officer had multiple inmates in his custody at that time. One of the inmates was able to commandeer the van as the other inmates were taken into the jail. The inmate was shackled, handcuffed and had belly chains, what have you," Tucker told WAPT. "The van door was open. He was able to jump into the driver's seat of the van, which was running."
According to Tucker, the van did have a weapon inside a lock box, but officials said they were not sure if Moudy had gained access to it, WLBT reported.
While authorities continue to search for Moudy, Tucker said he believed the escaped prisoner was still in the area.
"He's a hometown boy. He's from here. He doesn't really have anywhere else to go," Tucker told WAPT. "Not to say he can't wind up anywhere in the country, but we feel like he's going to stay close to home."