An inmate's attack on a Florida prison guard earlier this month was quickly stopped, but not just by other prison employees. The Miami Herald reports on the June 7 incident, which happened around 1am at Hillsborough County's detention center, where most of the female prisoners were already bedded down for the night. In a surveillance video released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Lillian Jimenez can be seen entering a restroom, and as she's standing in the doorway, an inmate, IDed in a sheriff's office release as 42-year-old Bridgette Harvey, comes up behind her, throws a pillowcase around Jimenez's neck, and begins strangling her. Suddenly, the room full of sleeping inmates comes to life, and eight or nine of them run into the restroom to assist Jimenez, who's now off-camera.
Other prisoners stand outside the door watching until a few seconds later, when other prison staffers arrive on the scene. "Several inmates came to [Jimenez's] rescue by removing the pillowcase from around her neck and freeing her from Harvey's grip," a release notes. Emergency response workers helped Jimenez out of the restroom and put Harvey in restraints. Officials say Harvey was also found to have had a comb on her with ends she'd sharpened using her teeth. Per an arrest report cited by the Washington Post, another inmate told investigators that Harvey and fellow prisoner April Colvin, 37, had planned the assault the day before, with Colvin set to be a lure by acting like she was in pain in the restroom. Harvey, who's said to have confessed to planning the attack, was allegedly then supposed to get her hands on Jimenez's keys.
Harvey, who's in prison on drug and home invasion charges, now faces new charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a weapon (great bodily harm), introduction of contraband into a detention facility, and escape from confinement. She's being held on bonds totaling $72,000, according to records seen by the Post. Colvin is accused of being a "co-conspirator" and has been charged with escape from confinement. Harvey and Colvin, as well as two other inmates believed to have been involved in the assault, were placed in solitary confinement. Jimenez, meanwhile, suffered just minor injuries to her neck and throat. "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," Sheriff Chad Chronister says. (Read more inmates stories.)