Chicago, IL – Three Cook County corrections officers were attacked by an inmate who ultimately stole a set of keys from one of them in an effort to release his fellow prisoners (video below).
Two of the corrections officers were rendered unconscious during the brutal assault, and one was hospitalized with serious injuries, WFLD reported.
The violent altercation began inside the maximum-security block at approximately 3:40 a.m. as one of the corrections officers was preparing to pass out breakfast, according to the Chicago Tribune.
When 30-year-old inmate Dante Jeffries asked the corrections officer to let him out so he could go get a drink of water, the guard agreed and unlocked his cell door.
Jefferies, who is incarcerated pending trial for allegedly shooting a Chicago police officer in 2017, headed down a stairway to retrieve a glass of water, and returned a moment later, security footage showed.
But when the corrections officer opened his door to lock him back down, Jefferies suddenly moved in behind him and grabbed him around his neck.
The corrections officer desperately attempted to escape, but was trapped on the second tier of the cell block with nowhere to go.
A second inmate emerged from Jefferies’ cell a moment later, at which point Jefferies dragged the flailing corrections officer through the open cell door, the video showed.
The inmates closed the door behind them, barricading the corrections officer inside for several moments.
The corrections officer burst out of the cell seconds later, but the open cell door blocked him from being able to flee down the stairway to safety.
The inmate closed in on him yet again and swung an object at him, knocking the corrections officer onto the floor, the video showed.
Investigators later determined that the corrections officer had been hit with a sock stuffed with bars of soap, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Jeffries laid on top of the corrections officer, pinning him to the ground, and ultimately choked him until he lost consciousness, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).
At one point during the attack, Jeffries allegedly stole the corrections officer’s keys and handed them off to fellow inmate Sharelle Sims.
Sims, 23, was being held in jail for allegedly being in possession of a firearm that had a defaced serial number, WFLD reported.
While Jeffries choked the corrections officer, Sims took the keys and opened at least one other cell door, the video showed.
A second corrections officer spotted the attack and ran into the cell block, at which point Jeffries got off of the corrections officer he had attacked.
But when a third corrections officer came to intervene, Jeffries punched him in the head, the video showed.
The corrections officer was knocked unconscious and immediately fell to the ground.
Jeffries then turned his attention to the second corrections officer, who was trapped at the end of the balcony trying to assist the guard who had been choked.
The inmate slugged the second corrections officer in the face or upper body, knocking him to the ground, the video showed.
As additional corrections officers entered the cell block, one of the inmates continued to unlock cell doors.
Jeffries appeared to square off with one of the guards for a moment, but was ultimately subdued after a corrections sergeant armed with a stun gun jumped into the melee, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The three injured corrections officers were transported to the hospital, where one was admitted.
The other two corrections officers were treated and released.
Charges against Jeffries and Sims are pending, according to CWB.
Jeffries has been incarcerated in Cook County since July of 2017, when he allegedly shot a female Chicago police officer who responded to intercept him during an in-progress robbery at a cell phone store, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The bullet hit the officer in her kneecap.
Jeffries carjacked a man at gunpoint and fled the scene, but was later apprehended in the Fulton River District, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He was subsequently charged with aggravated battery of a police officer, attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping, and 100 additional felony offenses, CWB reported.
Sims has been incarcerated in Cook County since August of 2019 on charges of possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number and armed habitual criminal.
He was previously convicted of illegal firearm possession and armed robbery.
You can watch security footage of the correction officers’ encounter with Jeffries and Sims in the video below: