Mitchell Smalls, an inmate at the prison observed something odd about the way the deputy was sitting in his chair. Even the sounds the deputy was making didn’t sound normal, he seemed to be sleeping while on duty.
The deputy suddenly fell to the floor and began to bleed when his skull hit the concrete floor, that’s when inmate Smalls took action. “I started hollering, screaming, and banging on the door to alert everybody to wake up,” Smalls said. Every inmate in the entire area the deputy was responsible for began yelling and screaming for help as they banged on their cell doors trying to get someone’s attention.
The noise caused Deputy Hobbs to obtain consciousness and he managed to push the release button that unlatched the cell doors that held inmates, Terry Lovelace and Walter Whitehead. Inmate Whitehead used a phone to call for help and at the same time, inmate Lovelace was using the deputy’s radio for the same reason.
For those whose only knowledge of prison life comes from movies they watch, not all prisons are full of heartless killers waiting for an opportunity to kill the guard and escape… A lot of good people make bad decisions that can get them room and board courtesy of the state and like anyone else, they are decent compassionate people.
Many jails and prisons work in 12-hour shifts and relationships are formed between the inmates and deputies… Inmate Whitehead said, “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.”
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office thanked the inmates for using the opportunity to help the deputy.
“These inmates came to his aid because our deputy, like most law enforcement officers, treats people with the dignity they deserve. These inmates had no obligation whatsoever to render aid to a bleeding, vulnerable deputy, but they didn’t hesitate,” the statement said. “Many people have strong opinions about law enforcement officers and criminals, but this incident clearly illustrates the potential goodness found in both.”
This story was written by the teenage daughter of the Executive Editor and Co-Founder of Free State Daily as part of his pandemic homeschooling efforts… I’m sure she would appreciate your encouragement in the comments section.
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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. pic.twitter.com/tVDJX2FcQP
— Gwinnett Sheriff's Office (@GwinnettSO) July 29, 2020