A group of eight handcuffed inmates in the US state of Texas busted out of their cell and saved the life of a prison guard having a heart attack, a media report said on Sunday.
The eight inmates were locked up in a holding cell at the District Courts Building in Fort Worth city when the incident happened.
The only guard posted next to the cell had been cracking jokes with the inmates when he suddenly collapsed in his chair due to a cardiac arrest, New York Daily News reported.
The prisoners then began shouting for help but no one was there nearby.
In the meantime, one of the prisoners managed to break the cell door open and the group approached the fallen guard who had no pulse at that time.
(Video: USA today)
The inmates kept screaming for help and started banging on doors in a desperate bid to get someone down to the cell. Deputies upstairs in court heard the ruckus and rushed down, thinking they had a fight on their hands.
“It never crossed my mind not to help whether he’s got a gun or a badge. If he falls down, I’m gonna help him,” inmate Nick Kelton told 11 WFAA TV station.
When officers finally arrived, they locked up the inmates back into the cell and called emergency services and started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the breathless guard in a bid to save him.
Medics used a defibrillator to shock the guard, and his heart started beating again as the inmates looked on.
Captain Mark Arnett said the prisoners’ breakout likely saved the guard’s life.
“He could have been there 15 minutes before any other staff walked in and found him,” Arnett said.
The cell’s locks have been strengthened after the inmates’ escape for a good deed, the report added.