On June 23rd, inmates at the District Courts Building in Weatherford, TX broke out of their holding cell to come to the aid of an unconscious jailer. The inmates were joking and talking with the unnamed contract employee when he suddenly slumped in his chair and lost consciousness.
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The inmates quickly realized that the man had a heart attack, then proceeded to break out of their holding cell to raise the alarm.
One of the inmates, Nick Kelton, described the scene that caused him and fellow inmates to risk their own lives for the jailor, “He just fell over,” Kelton said. “Looked like an act. Could have died right there.â€
As they rushed to his side and tried to revive him, they realized their lives could be in danger if responding officers misunderstood the situation… but that didn’t stop them from acting.
“We were worried they’re going to come with guns drawn on us,” Kelton added.
In the tense moments that followed, all of the inmates began banging on the door and shouting to draw officers attention to the jailer in distress.
“They thought it was a fight,”said inmate Floyd Smith. “They thought we were taking over.â€
Parker County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Speegle said he didn’t know what to expect after hearing the ruckus the inmates were causing.
“He [the jailor] had keys,” Speegle said. “Had a gun. It could have been an extremely bad situation.”
Sgt. Speegle first corralled the inmates back into their holding cell. Deputies started CPR on the guard, who had no pulse. It wasn’t until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator that the jailor began to regain consciousness.
“He could have been there 15 minutes before any other staff walked in and found him,”Capt. Mark Arnett said.
Inmate Kelton’s final thoughts on the situation prove that despite a troubled past, anyone is capable of showing compassion and heroism no matter their past.
“I watched him die twice,”he said. “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.â€
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