NWGA Scanner | July 25th, 2021

Inmates help deputy being violently assaulted by another inmate inside the Whitfield County Jail

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on Tuesday, July 13th, around 8:16 p.m., Deputy Norwood ordered inmate Ryan Austin Wofford, 38, of Cookeville, Tennessee, to return to his cell and lock back down within his room in R Block, cell 8. Officer Brandon Gibson reported, “Inmate Wofford then refused to lock back down and became increasingly aggressive in tone with Deputy Norwood. At this point, [I] proceeded out of the tower of south tower 2 to enter R block in an attempt to return Inmate Wofford to his room. Deputy Brandon Gibson was watching from a tower in the jail. The report said that Deputy Gibson “readied” his Taser. He found “Wofford at the top of the stairs in the day room” in front of his door. He told Wofford “to return to his room and lockdown, to which he refused and became more aggressive in tone and posture. Deputy Brandon Gibson reported, “[I] proceeded up the stairs, aiming my Taser at Inmate Wofford, and instructing him multiple times to return to his room while warning him that if he did not, [I] would “Taze him”. Once [I] reached the top of the stairs, Inmate Wofford yelled, “that Taser won’t do shit to me, I’ll knock you down those f**king stairs!” At This point, the deputy deployed bay one of his Taser on Inmate Wofford which was ineffective. Inmate Wofford then quickly advanced toward the deputy. The second deployment of his Taser was also ineffective. Inmate Wofford then struck the deputy with his left hand to the right side of my head and followed with a strike from his right fist to the left side of my head. The deputy threw down his Taser and struggled with Inmate Wofford attempting to regain control of the situation. According to the report, Inmate Wofford began to assault the deputy violently and got the deputy’s head between his right arm, and began to squeeze. The deputy reported, “[I] proceeded to deliver four closed fist strikes to his head area in an attempt to break free.” According to the report, “It was at this time that Deputy Norwood, in fear of the deputy’s safety, opened cell R-5, and Inmates Nathaniel Brookshire, Jeremy Bishop, Thomas Wooten, and Francisco Padilla-Nieto rushed to help save the deputy and gain control of Inmate Wofford. While they escorted Inmate Wofford to the floor Inmate Brookshire delivered three closed fist strikes to Wofford’s head in an attempt to get him to stop fighting. Sgt. Keith Holtzclaw, Deputy Logan McDougle, and Officer Brittany Cooley arrived within cell R8 to assist the deputy. According to the report, Officer Cooley told Inmate Wofford to “Stop resisting” and warned him that if he didn’t, she was going to “Taze him”. Deputies were finally able to successfully gain control of inmate Wofford. According to jail reports and a Dalton Police Department incident report, Wofford was booked into the jail on May 14th by the Dalton Police Department for felony shoplifting, possession of meth, crossing a guard line with drugs without consent, and fugitive from justice (South Carolina). Wofford was charged with riot in a penal institution and is currently being held without bond.