What comes to mind when you think about prison guards and cops coming into contact with inmates? Violence? Hatred and animosity? I can understand why you would think that, cliches are cliches for a reason. But there are those times where it doesn't matter what side of the barbed wire fence you are standing on, sometimes it's about who is a human being.
Part of the job of being a cop or a prison guard is to protect the lives of those in their custody, but there is no mandate stating that it has to be the same the other way. But as hard as it may be to believe, there have been several instances where inmates have come to the rescue and saved the lives of those responsible for keeping them locked up.
1. Parker County - Texas, July 2016
Capt. Mark Arnett from the Parker County Sheriff's Office was sitting outside of a maximum-security holding cell talking with the inmates inside when he suddenly collapsed, falling from the chair he was sitting in.
The inmates were locked in their cell unsure of what to do next. Knowing that it might land them in deeper trouble with additional charges, five of them forced their way through the cell door and came to the officer's aid. Capt. Arnett wasn't breathing and had no pulse, the inmates attempted to raise help on the radio while others caused enough commotion to summon staff from other parts of the building.
All the inmates were locked back in the cell without any further chargers. They were thanked for their service and are credited with saving Arnett's life.
2. Antonio Duane Brown - September 2012
In September 2012, Antonio Duane Brown was sentenced to 1.5 - 5 years in jail for fleeing from police attempting to make a lawful arrest.
Just hours after his sentencing he was cooling his heels in Kent County Prison, Michigan, when a female guard allowed one inmate out of his cell to grab a new roll of toilet paper. The inmate, Willie Williams, was supposed to grab the toilet paper and head straight back into his cell. He didn't, he hid behind a pillar as his cell door closed and waited for the female guard to make her rounds.
When the guard passed by his hiding spot, Williams jumped out and proceeded to beat the guard pretty severely. During the struggle, Williams pressed several buttons on her control fob, opening the cell doors for several other inmates, including Antonio Brown, a nightmare scenario in some cases. But instead of joining in on the assault, several inmates led by Brown interceded on the guard's behalf, saving her life, radioing for help, and holding Williams at bay until backup arrived.
The very next day Brown found himself back in the exact same courtroom that he had been sentenced in, in front of the exact same judge. But this was different from last time, the judge commuted Brown's sentence for his act of heroism. He was getting a "get out of jail free card" for saving the life of the guard.
3. Mahoning County Jail - Ohio, 2016
Deputy Anthony Lucus was just doing his job attending to inmate "Lucky" Mitchell, when Mitchell jumped Lucas from behind attempting to strangle him with a noose made from a t-shirt. A one-on-one fight broke out inside the cell. In a small, enclosed space anything is likely to happen. But what wasn't likely was when other inmates on the cell-block came to the aid of Deputiy Lucas. They subdued Mitchell, allowing Lucas to get out of there and call for backup.
The inmates who came to the Deputy's aid have not been named, nor has anything been said about what they might have received in return for helping out in the dangerous situation.
4. Hillsborough County, Florida - Deputy Kenneth Moon, November 2009
Respect is huge in prison. If you respect others, they will respect you. It is even that way between guards and inmates; showing respect for those in your custody goes a long way with the inmates. Deputy Kenneth Moon is a perfect example of this.
In November 2009, Moon was sitting at his desk that oversees a pod in Hillsborough County Jail, when he was attacked by an inmate, Douglas Burden, 24. Burden put the 64-year-old guard in a choke-hold after punching Moon several times.
But as the video below will show you, out of nowhere, several inmates appear and jump into the fight, but not on Burden's side; they are there to protect Deputy Moon. Moon had earned their respect, and they were there to return that respect. Four inmates are being honored for saving Deputy Moon's life. Moon escaped the attack suffering only minor injuries.
5. Polk County, Georgia - Officer Down, June 2017
Non-violent offenders and inmates recognized for good behavior often get sent outside of prison walls to do work detail. These aren't fun jobs, but the inmates love the chance to get back into the real world and keep busy.
This past June, six inmates were doing work detail in a local Georgia cemetery. They were being watched by a single deputy who hasn't been named. It was an exceedingly hot day, and out of nowhere, the deputy collapsed.
Alone in a cemetery with no supervision, the six inmates could have stolen the guard's gun and made an attempt at escape. Instead, the rushed to their jailer's aid. They had spent a lot of time with the man and respected him. They removed his bullet proof vest while another inmate called 911.
The officer had dropped due to complications from a brain surgery he had gone through 10 years previously. The heat had triggered the attack. The six inmates are being credited for being good men and saving the life of the one responsible for keeping them locked up. It really puts life in perspective doesn't it?