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Inmate took Taser from deputy at Clarke County Jail


Melvin Darrell Bryant Jr.

Bu Joe Johnson

A former inmate at the Clarke County Jail was recently indicted for disarming a jailer of his Taser and then shocking the jailer with the weapon.

Melvin Darrell Bryant Jr., 34, of Collins Avenue was charged with removal of a weapon from a public official, unlawful acts of violence in a penal institution, two counts of obstruction, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to a grand jury indictment filed Feb 11 in Clarke County Superior Court,

According to Clarke County Sheriff’s Office reports, the incident occurred nearly a year ago, on March 14, 2019, when Bryant was locked up for several probation violations and other agencies had placed holds on his release.

Bryant was being non-compliant with jailers and at one point threw water on the floor of his cell in a possible attempt to lure a jailer inside where he would lose his balance on the wet floor, according to the jailer’s report.

While standing in a dry corner of the cell, Bryant began to grab items off a shelf that could have been used as weapons, according to the report.

Several deputies rushed into the cell and subdued and handcuffed Bryant, who then began making comments about wanting to hang himself, the report states.

A decision was made to place Bryant under suicide watch, in a padded cell and stripped naked to wear an anti-suicide smock called a “turtle suit.”

Bryant refused to fully undress, and became combative with deputies who entered the cell to ensure that all clothing items had been removed, according to the report.

As the deputies were leaving the cell, Bryant reportedly removed a Taser from a deputy’s holster and pointed the weapon at another deputy.

After a deputy slammed Bryant into a wall, another deputy shocked Bryan’s arm with a stun gun, causing the inmate to drop the Taser.

The Taser was still turned on and firing as it fell, however, and it shocked a deputy’s arm and hand, according to a jail incident report.

Bryant continued to actively fight by swinging and kicking at deputies, who eventually was subdued by deputies who forced the prisoner to the ground and handcuffed him, the report notes.

The deputy who was shocked by the Taser suffered an abrasion to his arm during the altercation and Bryant was medically cleared by the jail’s nurse practitioner, according to an incident report.

It Could not be immediately learned why Bryant had been in jail at the time of the incident. Court records indicate he was released nine days after the incident, upon posting a total of $5,500 in property bonds.

Bryant is scheduled to be arraigned March 30 on the charges stemming from the jail incident.

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