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JONESBORO, Ark. – A violent attack on a detention officer in Craighead County was captured on jail cameras and obtained exclusively by NEA Report.
Craighead County Detention Center Officer Braden Peaster was on duty Friday afternoon at the jail. At about 1 p.m., he was checking jail cells when he learned the lock on an inmate’s cell had been tampered with. This is forbidden, obviously. The jailer confronted the inmate, Kendrick L. Morris, 27, of Forrest City. When the jailer reported he explained the locks weren’t to be tampered with, he said Morris became agitated and attacked him.
The jail video showed the attack from several camera angles. Morris attacked the officer in the face. The officer tried to get away from him but the inmate continued his aggressive assault. The officer made his way down the cell block’s steps to the first floor but the suspect followed him. Morris again began striking the officer in the face as other inmates looked on without stepping in.
As the attacker continued his assault, the officer and he went to the ground. Peaster struck his head on a table. He eventually was able to gain control of the rowdy inmate and call for backup.
Other officers arrived and placed the suspect in restraints. He was returned to a locked cell. At several points, inmates appeared to wander closer to the confrontation but their intentions, good or bad, couldn’t be measured before they were backed away by assisting officers.
Morris must now answer for felony second degree battery upon an officer or state employee. He was already being held for a parole violation.
We have reached out to Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd for an update on the jailer’s condition, but the report did not indicate he suffered serious injuries from the attack. We shall update this story when we learn more.
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