Inmate Steals Gun, Holds Hospital Security Officer Hostage
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—(UPDATE) A suicidal inmate, who was seeking treatment at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, held a hospital security officer hostage with the officer’s own weapon.
Larry Garner, 19, was receiving care at the hospital for eating pens and razor blades at the Duval County jail, reports The Florida Times-Union. The inmate, who was wearing handcuffs, leg shackles and connecting chains, attacked John Scarborough, 62, around 5 p.m. on Sept. 18. Scarborough had been assigned to monitor Garner’s fifth floor private room.
Scarborough was following Garner to the room’s bathroom when the inmate was able to partly free his left arm, turn and hit the officer in the head with his right wrist, which was still handcuffed. When the struggle spilled into the hallway, a nurse tried to help restrain the suspect; however, Garner was able to take Scarborough’s gun and aimed it at the officer’s head.
A corrections officer was able to get Garner to drop the weapon. The suspect was taken back into custody and was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Garner, who is serving a sentence for carrying a concealed firearm and resisting arrest, has also been awaiting trial in two cases of attacking corrections officers at Duval County jail.
Officials from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office expressed concerns as to why Scarborough, who is a rookie with only six months of hospital security experience (but is also a Vietnam veteran), was allowed to guard Garner, according to The Florida Times-Union. Chief Tara Wildes told the publication that the contracted security guards knew of Garner’s history of acting out.