TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida inmate in the Hillsborough County Jail system is being called a hero after she came to the aid of a deputy who was being attacked by two inmates who sought to make an escape, according to a report.
A detention deputy at the Falkenberg Road Jail was unaware of the fate that inmates had planned for her during the early morning hours of June 7, reported FOX 13 News of Tampa Bay.
A female inmate was armed with a shank and carried a pillowcase in order to pull off a sneak attack on the unsuspecting deputy. The attack was captured on jail surveillance video.
According to the video, an inmate walked up behind the deputy and placed a pillowcase over her head and tightened it around the deputy’s neck in an attempt to choke her.
Mary Jean was one of several inmates who could be seen running over to the action.
“She said she saw the deputy’s feet in the air and she had to do what she could – and there was possibly a shank that she saw at the moment,” said Denitsa Kolev, one of Jean’s lawyers.
Rick Escobar is another attorney who represents Jean. He said her actions demonstrate who she is, despite being incarcerated, according to the news outlet.
“She didn’t do this to help herself in her current legal situation. She did this as an aide to humanity, to help this deputy,” said Escobar.
The plan to escape was hatched by Bridgette Harvey and co-defendant April Colvin, according to court records.
They devised a bluff that Colvin pretended to be sick in order to lure the deputy into the restroom.
Bridgette Harvey and April Colvin. (Photos via FOX 13)
Once there, Harvey planned to overpower the deputy and steal her keys so the two would be able to escape the pod. However, the duo didn’t plan for Mary Jean to join the fray and come to the defense of the deputy.
“She had no reason to do this, to jump in and save a deputy while she’s an inmate,” Kolev said. “It shows she really is a good person.”
Sheriff Chad Chronister released a statement about this recent attack on one of his jail deputies.
“While these inmates put the deputy in danger there were others who did the right thing by coming to her aid and for that I am grateful,” the sheriff wrote. “Thanks to the quick response of our Emergency Response Team and the inmates who showed compassion to help our deputy, a dire situation turned into the safe rescue of Deputy Jimenez. The assailant and her co-conspirator now face additional charges for assaulting her.”
Five months earlier Jean came to the aid of another deputy who was being attacked, FOX 13 reported.
“She did jump in again when a different inmate attacked a deputy while she was on her computer,” Kolev noted.
The inmate in that case, Stephanie Camera, was charged with battery of a law enforcement officer and resisting with violence.
Stephanie Camera (Photo via FOX 13)
Jean sustained a broken hand during the recent dustup, but it also came with a reward from Sheriff Chronister.
“She got a pizza party and some recognition this time around. She got a Coca-Cola and said she was really excited about it,” chuckled Kolev.
According to jail records, “Mary Patricia Jean,” 31, was booked in November 2021, on 11 charges related to narcotics and drug trafficking.
It was unclear if her case was pending or whether she’s been convicted and is serving time. There was no release date in the query.