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Georgia deputy reunites with jail inmates who saved his life

‘Deputy W. Hobbs is back on the job!’
The three men were praised in late July for alerting officials at the Gwinnett County jail when a deputy became unconscious and fell.
The three men were praised in late July for alerting officials at the Gwinnett County jail when a deputy became unconscious and fell.(Source: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (Gray News) – A Georgia corrections officer saved by three inmates is back at work less than three weeks after he passed out on the job.

The men were praised in late July for alerting officials at the Gwinnett County jail when he became unconscious and fell.

“Deputy W. Hobbs is back on the job!” a Facebook post from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said. “He 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.”

In late July, the sheriff’s office said the inmates noticed the deputy appeared to be feeling poorly as he conducted security procedures in a jail housing unit.

Although they were locked in their cells, the inmates noticed that when he returned to his desk, he passed out.

“The inmates whose rooms were close enough to see what was happening began pounding on their doors,” the sheriff’s office said in a July 28 Facebook post. “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.”

The deputy said that he did not realize that he had been unconscious, but became aware of what sounded like “pounding drums” and could hear the inmates shouting his name. He thought an inmate needed help and managed to activate the door release to unlock the cell doors.

The three inmates then rushed out of their cells to help the deputy, who lost consciousness again.

“The inmates sought help with the use of the deputy’s desk phone and his radio. Their efforts where successful and help arrived almost immediately,” the Facebook post said.

The sheriff’s office said it was proud of the deputy, whose “strong desire to serve” helped him gather the strength to activate the door release when he believed an inmate needed help.

The sheriff’s office also said it was proud of the inmates because they “had no obligation whatsoever to render aid to a bleeding, vulnerable deputy, but they didn’t hesitate.”

“Many people have strong opinions about law enforcement officers and criminals, but this incident clearly illustrates the potential goodness found in both,” the sheriff’s office said.

The jail is located about 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.

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