Murray County jailer attacked by an inmate - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Murray County jailer attacked by an inmate

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A Murray County jailer is recovering after a fight with an inmate over the weekend. The struggle landed him in the hospital with stitches. The Murray County Sheriff says the incident highlights the need for more jailers on staff.

Inmate Johhny Thurman is accused of damaging a sprinkler head inside the jail early Saturday morning.  Two jailers responded while one deputy in the control tower called the Chatsworth Police Department for back up.
"He attempted to grab one of their night sticks and there was a fight between the detention officers and him," says Murray County Sheriff Gary Langford.

The fight turned violent.
"When they tried to subdue him then he head-butted one of our jailers. Cut him across his eye, injured him," says Langford.

The jailer was taken to the ER for 10 stitches. Thurman also managed to grab one of the jailer's keys.
"He really couldn't get out even though if he got a hold of the keys, he still can't get out because of the electric doors."

The attack comes on the heels of another inmate, Mark Brinson, injuring a female jailer a few weeks ago.
"He started causing problems. They tried to subdue him in the jail and a scuffle occurred and of course her arm was bruised a little bit and sprained but nothing serious," says Sheriff Langford.

The sheriff admits staffing levels at the jail are a concern.
"I've come in myself and actually helped at the jail one weekend because we were short."

Right now the sheriff tries to have at least four to five deputies manning the jail at all times.
"An ideal would be six to eight," he says.

Langford says it comes down to funding, an issue he plans on taking to the county as a new budget year approaches.
"We stay concerned about the jailers. We don't want to get so far understaffed that it's too dangerous for them to operate the jail," says Sheriff Langford.
We talked with the Georgia Sheriff's Association and they verified for us there are no laws on the books that dictate an ideal inmate to jailer ratio. 

Sheriff Langford tells us in the coming weeks he will be sitting down with the county commissioner to talk about funding.

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