Deputy Who Collapsed in County Jail Recovering, Thanks Inmates Who Helped Save His Life

August 18, 2020 Updated: August 18, 2020

A Georgia prison deputy who suddenly collapsed due to a cardiac problem, and was helped by three inmates late July, is doing well. He has recently returned to work and has thanked the men who rushed to save him.

On Friday, the Sheriff’s Department posted a photo on their Facebook page with the recovering deputy, Warren Hobbs, and the inmates who helped save his life, standing side by side.

Hobbs had “quickly sought out the inmates who came to his rescue when he suffered a medical emergency a few weeks ago so he could thank them in person,” the post stated. “We’re glad to welcome him back.”

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(Courtesy of Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office)

The deputy, who works at Gwinnett County Jail in Lawrenceville, had looked like he was sleeping on the job on the day the incident occurred. He fell out of his chair, split his head open, and started bleeding.

Inmate Mitchell Smalls was there when it happened and quickly took action.

“I started hollering and screaming and banging on the door to try to alert everybody to wake up,” Smalls later told Fox News. Soon, around 60 inmates began making as much noise as possible in an attempt to alert the other deputies.

The commotion was enough to wake Hobbs, who then struggled to get up.

“It was sad because it didn’t look good at all, but the man had fight in him to get up,” recalled inmate Terry Lovelace. “As he came up, I can make eye contact with him. I’m like, Deputy Hobbs, Deputy Hobbs, please.”

Hobbs managed to push a button to release Lovelace and fellow inmate Walter Whitehead, who then rushed to assist the ailing man and attempted to call other deputies using a phone and Hobbs’s radio. Help arrived within seconds, and they took over the lifesaving effort.

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The exterior of the Gwinnett County Jail is seen on June 30, 2020, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Hobbs says he does not remember losing consciousness but only “what sounded like pounding drums” and “inmates shouting his name over and over,” the sheriff’s office said.

After the incident, the sheriff’s office commended the inmates for the vital support they provided to Deputy Hobbs during the crisis.

“These inmates had no obligation whatsoever to render aid to a bleeding, vulnerable deputy, but they didn’t hesitate,” the office wrote in a Facebook post. “Many people have strong opinions about law enforcement officers and criminals, but this incident clearly illustrates the potential goodness found in both.”

Prison deputies spend 12 hours a day with inmates, according to the news outlet, and thus they tend to develop a bond based on a mutual respect that goes deeper than the uniforms they wear.

Whitehead told Fox News: “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.”