Two Hays State Prison inmates were charged earlier this month with beating a prison guard.
Officer Stacy Houser told inmates Jarius Fudge and Jermaine Harrison to press their backs against the wall next to other prisoners in their cell block during a routine count on the evening of March 12. Houser later told the Georgia Department of Corrections that the two inmates at the Trion, Ga., prison resisted his orders.
"No sooner [had] the words [come] out of my mouth [before] inmate Harrison walked away," Houser said in a shorthand statement to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Told to get back in line, Houser said, Harrison began to argue. Then he and Fudge attacked the guard.
The Department of Corrections charged the inmates with battery, obstruction and rioting in a prison. Neither gave a statement to investigators, according to an incident report.
When Harrison stepped out of line, Houser said, he ordered him to step back against the wall twice. Harrison told him to get out of his face. Houser touched Harrison's arm. Fudge stuck his own arm out, in between the two men. He told Houser to stop talking to Harrison.
Houser said he stepped away and told them to go to the building's entranceway. Then, he said, Fudge punched him in the left side of the face. Harrison threw Houser to the ground, punched him and drove his knee into the guard's body.
Officer Errol Buzzard, also there to count inmates, told the Department of Corrections he then called for backup and pulled Houser away from the inmates. Other guards ran to the scene to stop any further fighting. The report does not indicate more violence.
The guards brought Fudge and Harrison to Tier II, a higher-security area of the prison where inmates are held on lockdown. Doctors treated Houser for minor wounds to his face.
One guard told the Department of Corrections that he overheard Fudge say the fight started when Houser spat in his face, intentionally or not.
Contact Tyler Jett at tjett@times freepress.com or at 423-757-6476.
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