Inmates at Parker County Jail in Texas are being hailed as heroes after they reportedly took a substantial risk to help a guard who had collapsed from an apparent heart attack.
Eight prisoners were inside a holding cell on June 23 when the guard on duty suddenly lost consciousness and fell over, according to WFAA.
"He just fell over," inmate Nick Kelton told the news station. "Looked like an act. Could have died right there."
As soon as they saw how critical the situation was, the inmates, who were shackled at the time, reportedly began yelling for help. They eventually broke out of the holding cell to attend to the fallen jailer, even though doing so could have had gotten them shot.
"We were worried they're going to come with guns drawn on us," Kelton said.
When deputies heard the commotion, they rushed downstairs expecting to find a fight.
"[The jailer] had keys," Sgt. Ryan Speegle of the Parker County Sheriff's office said. "Had a gun. It could have been an extremely bad situation."
When Speegle arrived on the scene he found one of the inmates reaching for the unconscious guard's radio, which happened to be near his gun.
"We were going to call 'Mayday' or something," Kelton said of their plans to use the radio.
Speegle and his fellow deputies then ushered the inmates back into their cell and began performing CPR on the guard. Paramedics arrived soon after and managed to restore the guard's pulse.
Capt. Mark Arnett told WFAA he thinks the prisoners probably saved the man's life.
"He could have been there 15 minutes before any other staff walked in and found him," he said.
Kelton, who described himself as a meth addict, said he merely did what comes naturally to him.
"I watched him die twice," he 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."
The guard, who has not been identified, is expected to return to work within a week.
This isn't the first time inmates have saved a prison guard from a perilous situation. In 2015, a group of prisoners at Rikers Island rescued a female guard who was being sexually assaulted by a convicted rapist, according to the New York Daily News.