Three Georgia inmates have been credited with saving the life of their guard who suffered a heart attack outside their cell doors.
Mitchell Smalls, Terry Loveless and Walter Whitehead all rushed to Deputy Warren Hobbs’ aid when he fell unconscious at his desk in Gwinnett County Jail.
Smalls first alerted the rest of the inmates to the emergency by banging on his door. Loveless and Whitehead then rushed to Hobbs’ side after the deputy managed to unlock their cell door.
Records show Smalls is being held over battery and drug charges; Whitehead and Loveless on drugs charges.
Whitehead said: ‘It scared me. I don’t care if it’s a police officer or whoever it was.
‘I will do whatever I can to save a man. I don’t want anyone to die.’
Footage shows as Smalls raises the alarm after spotting Hobbs was in trouble by banging on his cell door. Fellow inmates then join in to make as much noise as possible in a call for help.
That noise seems to pull Hobbs conscious again and he managed to unlock the cell of Loveless and Whitehead who are seen running from their room to help the deputy. They then called for help using a phone and Hobbs’ radio.
Smalls told Fox5: ‘I started hollering and screaming and banging on the door to try to alert everybody to wake up.’
Deputy Hobbs, who is recovering at home, says he can only remember a sound like drums and hearing people shouting his name. He cracked his head open in the fall.
The sheriffs office wrote on Facebook: ‘The inmates whose rooms were close enough to see what was happening began pounding on their doors.
‘Soon the entire unit was thundering with noise as many inmates pounded on the doors shouting for our deputy who lay unconscious and heavily bleeding on the floor.
‘Our deputy later stated that while he did not realize he’d been unconscious, he became aware of what sounded like pounding drums and could hear inmates shouting his name over and over.
‘He immediately thought an inmate needed help and somehow managed to rise to his feet and press the control panel to open cell doors.’
Inmate Loveless added: ‘He grabbed a hold of his desk and he was pulling himself up like this.
‘It was sad because it didn’t look good at all but the man had fight in him to get up.
‘As he came up I can make eye contact with him I’m like deputy Hobbs, Deputy Hobbs, please.’
Gwinnett Sheriffs Office tweeted a picture of the three men, writing: ‘Kudos to these inmates for coming to the aid of our deputy when he suffered a cardiac emergency in a jail housing unit.
‘We thank them for their timely assistance and the lesson their actions provide. It’s not the uniform that makes a hero. It’s the person wearing it.’
They added in a statement: ‘Many people have strong opinions about law enforcement officers and criminals but this incident clearly illustrates the potential goodness found in both.’