Three Georgia inmates helped saved a deputy’s life when the man suffered a heart attack outside of their cells.
Mitchell Smalls, Terry Lovelace and Walter Whitehead rushed to help Deputy Warren Hobbs when he collapsed at his desk at Gwinnett County Jail. Smalls was the first to act, alerting his fellow inmates by banging on his door. Lovelace and Whitehead then ran to Hobbs’ side when the guard managed to unlock their cell door.
“It scared me. I don’t care if it’s a police officer or whoever it was, ” said Whitehead. “I will do whatever I can to save a man. I don’t want anyone to die.”
The incident was recorded on security footage. Smalls can be seen ringing the alarms first, banging on his cell door. When the other inmates catch on, they start making as much noise as possible to call for help.
The commotion seems to rouse Hobbs, and he musters the strength to open one of the cells. Whitehead and Lovelace are seen running out of the open cell door and rushing to the deputy’s aid. They called for help using a phone and Hobbs’ radio.
“I started hollering and screaming and banging on the door to try to alert everybody to wake up,” Smalls told Fox5.
Deputy Hobbs is at home recovering, and says he can’t remember much of what happened, only a sound like drums and people screaming his name. The stroke caused him to collapse, and he sustained a head injury from the fall.
“The inmates whose rooms were close enough to see what was happening began pounding on their doors,” wrote the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post.
“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,” the post continued.
“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.”
The Sheriff’s Office also tweeted a photo of the three men and commended them for their heroic acts, 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.”