A Brown County Jail inmate was flown to an Abilene hospital with a cracked skull after another inmate knocked him to the floor Thursday night in a dispute over a Harry Potter book, sheriff's officials said Friday morning.
David Ortega, 59, was initially taken to Brownwood Regional Medical Center with injuries including a laceration on his lip, a broken jaw and cracked skull, and a small amount of bleeding under the skin on an area of his skull, a report by deputy Terry Sliter states. Ortega was flown to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, where he was in stable condition in ICU as of Friday afternoon, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said.
The other inmate involved in the altercation had not been charged Friday, but an investigation was continuing, Grubbs said.
According to Sliter's report:
Sliter was dispatched to the jail at 9:55 p.m., and Guardian EMS was preparing to transport Ortega to the hospital. Ortega said he was just lying on his bunk. The other inmate said he just wanted his Harry Potter book back, and when he asked for the book, Ortega cursed and shoved the book into his face, the inmate told Sliter.
The inmate told Sliter he defended himself by pushing Ortega's hand with the palm of his hand and that he didn't intent to hurt Ortega. The inmate saw Ortega's head bounce off the ground, and the inmate stepped back.
The inmate told Siter Ortega cursed at him previously over a card game and seems to have a short fuse. The inmate seemed very nervous and stuttered excessively, but seemed fine while talking about other incidents, Sliter's report states.