Inmate Attack on Depute Forces Liberty County to Rethink Policy

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

On August 26, Depute, Susan Barber was doing a routine head county in the Liberty County jail's male holding area. It was something she'd probably done hundreds of times in her eight year's with the county's sheriff's office, but that time it turned out to be anything but routine.

"As soon as she opened the door an inmate jumped her." Liberty County Sheriff, Buddy Money said. "This inmate was able to catch her by surprise and when he put his arm around her neck and he was chocking her she says she kind of blacked out and then she came to and when she did she kept fighting.

Barber was alone, unarmed and trapped. She wrestled with the inmate, Kyle Blankenship (21), on the floor of the cell for several minutes. Barber finally managed to break free and gain control of the inmate. She suffered a bruised neck and ribs in the process.

As a result, Money said he was trying to prevent other deputies from winding-up in a similar dangerous situation.

"What's changed now is, we do all of our monitoring through the control room by our monitors and cameras. We'll do all our monitoring by that and we have the ability to speak to [deputes] because we have an intercom system."

Barber has been home recovering from her injuries. Money said he thought she would be back to work in a few weeks.

Blankenship was in jail for violating parole on a charge of throwing a deadly object into a vehicle. He's now facing charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and attempting to escape.


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