TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Surveillance video showed the moment a group of inmates came to the rescue of a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy who was attacked in a jail pod.
Deputy Lillian Jimenez was called to the women’s restroom on June 7 around 1 a.m. to conduct a well-being check on inmate April Colvin, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
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As Jimenez approached the restroom, inmate Bridgette Harvey, 42, walked behind the deputy and wrapped a pillowcase around her neck in an attempt to choke her. Authorities said Deputy Jimenez immediately radioed for help.
Moments later, several inmates came to the deputy’s rescue.
The sheriff’s office said the nearby inmates removed the pillowcase from Deputy Jimenez’s neck and freed her from Harvey’s grip.
Seconds later, emergency responders escorted Deputy Jimenez out of the pod and placed Harvey in restraints. In addition to the pillowcase, the sheriff’s office said Harvey was also holding a comb that she had sharpened on both ends with her teeth.
Deputy Jimenez suffered minor injuries to her neck and throat.
Harvey faces charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a weapon, introduction of contraband into a detention facility, and escape from confinement. Authorities said her “co-conspirator,” Colvin, also faces a charge of escape from confinement.
Two other inmates were removed from the pod and all four inmates involved were moved to solitary confinement.
An investigation is ongoing.
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“While these inmates put our deputy in danger, there were others who did the right thing by coming to her aid, and for that, I am grateful,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Thanks to the quick response of our Emergency Response Team and the inmates who showed compassion to help our deputy, a dire situation turned into the safe rescue of Deputy Jimenez. The assailant and her co-conspirator now face additional charges for assaulting her.”