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· *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
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PHOENIX -
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gave pizza to jail inmates for lunch after some of them came to the rescue of a detention officer.

Authorities say Rachel Harris had part of her ear bitten off during a scuffle with an inmate Monday afternoon in the Lower Buckeye Jail.

Harris, 22, was conducting a routine check of the cell when inmate Bobby Ruiz allegedly jumped on her back and attacked her.

Authorities say some other inmates came to the aid of Harris, who was hired by the sheriff's office about one year ago.

"I just want to say thank you to those of you who did help me. I really don't know if I would have came out with anything more if you guys didn't help me, so thank you," Harris told a group of MCSO inmates Tuesday afternoon.

Her ear is now wrapped in gauze.

Ricky Shillingford and Andrew Davis were the first two to help pull Ruiz off the officer. Surveillance cameras captured the struggle.


"He had her in a chokehold, I saw the blood was coming from her ears," says Shillingford.

"I seen her on the floor, crunched over hunched over. I snatched him off of her, he took a swing at me and went back toward her," says Davis.

"I felt him being pulled off of me and I knew they were over there helping me," says Harris.

Harris' dad is also a detention officer. They believe in treating the inmates with respect, and that is why the inmates say they didn't hesitate when she needed them.

"Right is right and wrong is wrong, we make mistakes to get in here, but hey if you can correct your mistakes why not," says Davis.


Ruiz now faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer. He's been placed on lockdown and being served only bread and water.

Ruiz is in jail after being convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Harris has medical leave for 2 to 4 weeks and then will be placed on light duty. She isn't certain yet if the ear can be reconstructed.

The sheriff held a pizza party to thank the inmates for their help.
 
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