Potty break, errant gun cause evacuation of courthouse RON CLAYTON, [email protected] Originally published 03:34 p.m., September 11, 2007 Updated 03:34 p.m., September 11, 2007 ATHENS, Tenn. â€” A lost pistol caused an evacuation of the McMinn County Courthouse after a court officer forgot to put his weapon back in the holster after using a restroom. Court Officer Jim King had taken the weapon out of the holster and along with his portable radio laid it in a stall Monday. Sgt. Greg Walker, who oversees the courts, said when King put fastened his belt, he put the radio in place but apparently forgot his Glock .40-caliber service revolver. â€œKnoxville attorney Chuck Burks found the weapon in the basement restroom and came and told me,â€ Walker said. He retrieved the weapon, and not knowing its owner, contacted County Mayor John Gentry who ordered an evacuation of the courthouse. â€œWe did not know whether someone had placed the weapon for another person,â€ possibly an inmate, he said. â€œWe kept the inmates in the courthouse but it was an orderly evacuation for others.â€ During the evacuation, it was noticed that officer King did not have his pistol in the holster. Walker said they realized it was his weapon that was found on the floor. Sheriff Steve Frisbie said King has been a court officer for 15 years and this is the first time he has had any problems. He has been suspended for three days without pay for the incident. â€œTo my knowledge this is the first time anything like this has occurred,â€ Walker said. He has worked the courts for 10 years. [Which is it? 15 yrs or 10 yrs] Gentry said even though the incident is serious, it â€œwas an honest mistakeâ€ and actually gave them an opportunity to see if the courthouse evacuation plan worked. He said notifying each office was a problem, and they may try to work out a paging or intercom system so they can notify various offices on the three floors simultaneously. â€œThat is a glaring weakness in the courthouse,â€ He said. The restroom where the weapon was found is in the basement near the Chancery Court offices but also near an entrance door. More details as they develop online and in Wednesdayâ€™s News Sentinel. Â© 2007, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.