published Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Hamilton County corrections officer prevents inmate hanging at jail

  • photo
    The Hamilton County Jail is seen in this 2008 file photo.
    Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A Hamilton County corrections officer prevented an inmate from hanging himself today in the county jail, according to authorities.

Officer Melba Quarterman noticed a blanket had been stuffed into a food slot opening of a cell, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Janice Atkinson.

As Quarterman approached the door, she saw the inmate had tied sheets to the screen area of the cell, then around his neck.

Quarterman and Officer Jerry Fain entered the cell and attempted to intervene, at which point the inmate became “extremely combative” and was handcuffed.

Atkinson said the inmate was transferred to the jail’s medical office for treatment and observation. He will then be transported to an area mental facility, she said.

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