Two inmates rushed to the aid of an Arizona corrections officer after a prisoner bit off part of her ear during a routine check at a Phoenix jailhouse, KSAZ Fox 10 reported.
Rachel Harris, 22, a second-generation CO newly hired at the Maricopa County Detention Center, was savagely attacked by Bobby Ruiz as she entered the convict’s cell at the Lower Buckeye Jail.
“In the process of the assault, he bit the ear, half the ear off of our officer…we can’t find half the ear, he may have swallowed it,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told the station.
Two inmates, Ricky Shillingford and Andrew Davis, reportedly rushed to Harris’ aid, wrangled Ruiz off the stricken detention officer and held the frenzied assailant down until additional officers arrived on the scene.
“He had her in a chokehold,” Shillingford told Fox 10. “I saw blood was coming from her ears.”
“I seen her on the floor, crunched over, hunched over,” added Davis. “I snatched him off of her. He took a swing at me and went back toward her….Right is right and wrong is wrong. We make mistakes to get in here, but, hey, if you can correct your mistakes, then why not?”
Ruiz, already convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, now faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer. He has reportedly been placed on lockdown, allowed only bread and water.
“I just want to say, ‘thank you,’ to those of you who did help me,” Harris reportedly told a group of inmates after the fact, her frayed ear wrapped in gauze. “I really don’t know if I would have come out with anything more if you guys didn’t help me.”
Harris thanked the inmates with pizza.