Brown County Sheriff's officials were discussing Friday morning what charges they will pursue against an inmate who, they allege, assaulted and injured two jailers within a 24-hour period.
Sheriff Bobby Grubbs identified the inmate as Joe Dale Smith, 23, of Brownwood. Grubbs said Smith has a lengthy criminal history and is classified as a maximum security inmate.
Sheriff's officials allege that Smith head-butted jailer Zachariah Lundy at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Lundy was attempting to collect cleaning supplies from Smith's cell when the incident occurred. Lundy and other jailers restrained Smith, and Smith spit on jailers, sheriff's officials allege.
Lundy was treated and released at Brownwood Regional Medical Center after receiving numerous stitches for mouth and head injuries and is recovering at home.
In the other assault, deputy Kelly Marsh was dispatched to the jail at 1:30 a.m. Thursday to take a report. It is alleged in the report that Smith pushed jailer Chester Land to the floor, fracturing Land's shoulder.
Smith has been in the Brown County Jail since June 3, when he was booked on charges of fraudulent use of identifying information, forgery, driving with a suspended license, theft and bail jumping. Smith was also served with a motion to revoke probation.
Smith had been arrested numerous times previously in Brown County and in other counties on a variety of charges, Grubbs said.
"People fail to realize (jailers) work in a dangerous environment every day," Grubbs said. "A jailer has a hard job and a dangerous job. Per capita, we probably have more assaults on jailers than on officers — although both jobs are dangerous.
"Within 24 hours, I've had two jailers seriously injured by an inmate. You always know it's a possibility it could happen, but you don't want to see it happen."
Throughout the process of county budget hearings, Grubbs has asked Brown County Commissioners to approve raises for jailers.
Smith has received numerous disciplinary actions while incarcerated, Grubbs said. Sheriff's allege that Smith had fashioned a spoon into a shank. Jailers found the shank and Smith threatened to "get" one of the jailers, sheriff's officials allege.
The Brown County Jail has a capacity of 196 and currently holds 151 inmates, including 70 who are classified as maximum security, sheriff's officials said.