Georgia inmates rush to save deputy’s life after he suffers heart attack but manages to unlock cell doors

When the deputy fell unconscious, inmate Mitchell Smalls noted it and alerted the rest of the inmates to the emergency by banging his door. Soon, with the whole cell block banging their doors, the deputy came regained his consciousness


                            Georgia inmates rush to save deputy’s life after he suffers heart attack but manages to unlock cell doors
Mitchell Smalls, Terry Lovelace, and Walter Whitehead (Gwinnett Sheriff's Office)
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Three inmates of a prison in Georgia have been lauded for saving the life of their guard who suffered a heart attack outside their cell doors. The inmates of Gwinnett County Jail, identified as Mitchell Smalls, Terry Lovelace, and Walter Whitehead, all rushed to Deputy Warren Hobbs' assistance after he fell unconscious at his desk in the prison. 

When Hobbs fell unconscious, Smalls noted it and alerted the rest of the inmates to the emergency by banging his door. Lovelace and Whitehead then rushed to the deputy's side after he managed to unlock their cell doors. Whitehead, after the incident, 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."

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Surveillance footage in the prison captured the incident, showing Smalls raising an alarm after noting Hobbs was unconscious by banging his cell door. Other inmates also joined in to make as much noise as possible in an attempt to call for assistance. The noise appeared to pull the deputy into consciousness and he managed to unlock two cell doors, those of Lovelace and Whitehead. The pair then ran toward the deputy to help him. They later called for help using a phone and the deputy's radio. Smalls, while talking to Fox5, said: "I started hollering and screaming and banging on the door to try to alert everybody to wake up."

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The third inmate Lovelace told the outlet: "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."

Deputy Hobbs while recounting the incident said that he could only remember a sound like drums and hearing people shouting his name. When he fell unconscious on the floor, the fall resulted in a head injury. The deputy is currently recovering at home.

The sheriff's office, in a statement on Facebook, explained the event, writing: "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," the statement said.

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The sheriff's office also tweeted a picture of the three inmates appreciating their effort. "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. Many people have strong opinions about law enforcement officers and criminals but this incident clearly illustrates the potential goodness found in both."

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