His gesture came on the same day when Jones thought he was reporting to the sheriff’s office to fill out some paperwork, but was instead greeted by cheering and applause. On his way in, he heard: “On July 5th, 2012, the three came to work, not knowing their day would be filled with split-second decisions.”
A week has gone by, but the courthouse chaos involving three county employees from different departments, remains fresh, especially for all of those directly involved.
Jones arrived to an ovation at the surprise awards ceremony. He said he’s still recovering but remembers the details from inmate Greene’s alleged assault as he tried to escape. “I had in my mind that I had to keep him away from my gun,” he said.
Among the three, a county custodian who gave it his all: “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog, that’s Tommy Poore for you,” said Sheriff Ricky Walker.
His colleagues say Poore’s character has earned him the nickname of “silent superhero,” but he steadfastly deflects the attention. “I just hope that if the role was reversed, and I was in their shoes, they’d help me,” Poore said.
Then there’s the county’s top prosecutor, Lee Harrison. He took a few licks, but made sure Greene didn’t make it by him in the hallway. He says Greene was heading for the exit. Harrison says after Greene hit him in the head with ankle chains, he and Poore managed to wrestle the inmate into an adjacent room, where other deputies came to their aid.
“It’s humbling, I felt like I did the right thing,” Harrison said. “I did what I could do to prevent him from leaving.”
As all of the commotion went on right outside the courtroom doors, all three men said protecting the public in the courthouse was their priority. Fittingly then, for their heroism, Amelia’s American Legion post awarded all three with medals of valor.
Jones said he will return to work shortly, saying, “What else am I supposed to do?” Harrison will not prosecute Greene’s new charges, and the case will be assigned to a special prosecutor.
The Legion post also awarded two dispatchers for keeping their cool and getting help to the three men in an expeditious manner.