Recently released CCTV footage shows the moment inmates in a Texas jail broke out of their cell - to raise the alarm that a guard had collapsed.
The incident occurred on June 23 in a holding cell in the basement of the District Courts Building in Weatherford, Texas.
WFAA reports that the guard had been sitting in the small room adjacent to the cell, joking with the eight inmates when he suddenly slumped over, unconscious.
Inmate Nick Kelton described how "he just fell over. Looked like an act. Could have died right there".
The shackled inmates began shouting for help and when that didn't summon anyone, knowing the danger, they busted their way out.
"We were worried they’re going to come with guns drawn on us," said Kelton.
The guard was found to have no pulse and the inmates continued to yell, until help arrived.
Parker County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Speegle says he didn’t know what to expect when he arrived on the scene to find the inmates, out of their cell and standing over an unresponsive officer.
“He (the guards) had keys," Speegle said. "Had a gun. It could have been an extremely bad situation."
“They thought it was a fight,” said inmate Floyd Smith. “They thought we were taking over.”
Still not completely aware of what was happening, Sgt. Speegle led the inmates back into the cell as deputies started CPR. Paramedics arrived and shocked the guard, who eventually regained a pulse and went on to make a full recovery, returning to work this week.
Capt. Mark Arnett believes the inmates' actions helped save the unnamed guard, who works for a private contractor.
“He could have been there 15 minutes before any other staff walked in and found him,” he said.
“I watched him die twice,” Kelton said. “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.”
“Seems natural to me,” Smith added.
The room that the inmates broke out off has reportedly now been reinforced.