In a remarkable story out of Texas, a Parker County jailer had an apparent heart attack, but he may be alive due to the efforts of eight inmates who broke free and put themselves at risk to save him.
It happened on June 23 in a holding cell in the basement of the District Courts Building in Weatherford.
At least eight prisoners were behind a locked door in a small room off to one side. Their lone guard sat outside and had been joking with them when he slumped over unconscious.
“He just fell over,” said inmate Nick Kelton. “Looked like an act. Could have died right there.”
Kelton and other inmates began shouting for help. Then they managed to bust out of their holding room, even though they knew it was dangerous.
“We were worried they’re going to come with guns drawn on us,” Kelton said.
Though the inmates were concerned that police would enter and draw their guns on them, they raised their voices and created such a commotion that officers above in the courtroom responded.
According to inmate Floyd Smith, the officers thought a fight had broken out. However, once they saw what had taken place, Parker County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Speegle made sure the inmates were then put back into their holding cell, as other deputies began to administer CPR.
Paramedics arrived on the scene and administered a shock to the downed guard, who regained a pulse.
Kelton, who claimed he is a meth addict who just cannot stay clean, said of the guard, “He’s a good man.”
“I watched him die twice,” he recalled. “It never crossed my mind not to help whether he’s got a gun or a badge. If he falls down, I’m gonna help him.”
The men definitely cared enough for the guard to risk their own lives to save him.
“He could have been there 15 minutes before any other staff walked in and found him,” said Capt. Mark Arnett.
In an irony to the story, WFAA reports that the room that the inmates broke out of to help the guard has now been reinforced. One has to wonder if there have also been put in place things that would insure the ability of officers to aid their own should this happen again.
As for the inmates, well done gentlemen!