An inmate attacked a nurse inside the Saginaw County Jail on Sunday and the whole incident was caught on tape.
The inmate was quickly restrained, but the nurse is still recovering from her injuries.
The attack happened just after recent cutbacks eliminated a corrections officer from the already overcrowded county jail.
"I'm very thankful that my officers were alert, they responded admirably," said Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel.
Federspiel said the unidentified inmate pretended to be sick and other prisoners alerted deputies to the possible problem. They sent in a nurse. She determined he was not sick and when she turned around to leave, the prisoner lunged at her.
"He grabbed her, yanked her backwards," explained Federspiel. "The nurse was wearing a thermometer around her neck on a lanyard. He took that thermometer put it to her throat and was pulling her backwards and she was screaming."
The sheriff says these kinds of attacks don't happen very often, but when an opportunity to attack presents itself, inmates sometimes act.
"There are occasions where inmates will fake an illness, because it's their hope that they will be transported to the hospital, at which time they'll be one on one with a corrections officer," said Federspiel. "If they're thinking about escape, that's the time to do it."
Federspiel said he's just relieved that the injuries sustained by the nurse weren't more serious. And he also says that prisoner safety isn't the only concern of the deputies in the jail, there's other people they need to make sure are safe also. "
"We have to protect all the civilians, so not only do we have food service staff 24/7, we have nursing and medical staff 24/7, we have dental staff 24/7 in there," said Federspiel. "Attorneys, pastors and individuals to come in and help, bail bondsmen. We have all those individuals in our facility that at any time could be attacked. "
The sheriff says attacks on jail guards are common, but attacks on staff like this one are not. The nurse is expected to recover from her injuries.
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