An inmate escaped from a work-release crew after he created a distraction with an overflowing toilet, authorities said.

Wayne Mitchell, 24, was in the Clark County Jail for a probation-violation warrant, but had been working with a crew clearing roadside trash.

When the crew stopped at the Clark County Fraternal Order of Police lodge to eat lunch, Mitchell went into a restroom and clogged a toilet, causing it to overflow, police said. He then came out saying he needed some towels from the jail's van to sop up the mess.

"The toilet overflowed and the rest of the inmates were trying to clean it up," said Maj. Chuck Adams of the Clark County Sheriff's Department.

Instead of going to the van, Mitchell walked to nearby G&R Auto Sales, where an employee gave him the keys to a car he said he wanted to look over, police said. Police said he then stole a red 1995 Chevrolet Camaro convertible.

Officers later found Mitchell's jail-issued clothes at the dealership, about 15 miles north of Louisville, Ky.