Florida inmates help rescue deputy after other inmate strangles officer with pillowcase, video shows

Inmate found with comb she sharpened with teeth, Hillsborough County sheriff says

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A Florida inmate was caught on video strangling a deputy with a pillowcase in a county jail last week before other inmates jumped in to help rescue the officer, authorities said.

The incident happened just before 1 a.m. on June 7 at the Hillsborough County Jail, the sheriff's office said.

Inmate Bridgette Harvey, 42, told Hillsborough Deputy Lillian Jimenez that another inmate, identified as 37-year-old April Colvin, needed her help in the women’s restroom, officials said. 

As Jimenez went to check on Colvin, authorities said Harvey approached the deputy from behind and put a pillowcase around her neck to choke her.

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Jimenez used her radio to call for help and several other inmates in the jail pod rushed to help remove the pillowcase from around her neck and loosen Harvey's grip, the sheriff’s office said.

Bridgette Harvey, 42, used a pillowcase in an attempt to strangle Hillsborough County Deputy Jimenez while in a jail pod last week, authorities said.

Bridgette Harvey, 42, used a pillowcase in an attempt to strangle Hillsborough County Deputy Jimenez while in a jail pod last week, authorities said. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

Emergency responders removed Jimenez from the pod and treated her for minor injuries to her neck and throat. 

Harvey was secured in restraints and removed from the pod. She later confessed to planning the assault and authorities found that she had a comb that had been sharpened on both ends with her teeth, officials said.

Bridgette Harvey, 42, confessed to planning the assault on the Hillsborough County deputy, authorities said.

Bridgette Harvey, 42, confessed to planning the assault on the Hillsborough County deputy, authorities said. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

Harvey faces multiple charges including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, introduction of contraband into a detention facility, and escape from confinement.

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Colvin also faces a charge of escape from confinement. Two other inmates who were not named were also believed to be connected to the assault. All four were moved into solitary confinement.

April Colvin, 37, was charged in connection to the assault on a Hillsborough County deputy.

April Colvin, 37, was charged in connection to the assault on a Hillsborough County deputy. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

"While these inmates put our deputy in danger, there were others who did the right thing by coming to her aid, and for that, I am grateful," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Thanks to the quick response of our Emergency Response Team and the inmates who showed compassion to help our deputy, a dire situation turned into the safe rescue of Deputy Jimenez. The assailant and her co-conspirator now face additional charges for assaulting her."