'I get emotional': Inmates break out of cell to save prison guard's life after heart attack

Incredible footage has surfaced of prison inmates breaking out of their holding cell to save a guard who had just suffered a massive heart attack, rather than taking the opportunity to escape.

Gary Grim, 52, was guarding prisoners in a holding cell below the Parker County District Courthouse in Texas, US, on June 23, 2016 when he fell ill.

The group of at least eight inmates noticed the lone guard, who was sitting across from their locked gate, became slumped in his chair and appeared unconscious, so they did what they could to get help.

A group of at least eight inmates noticed a lone guard slumped in his chair, so they broke from their cell to get help. Source: Parker County Sheriff's Office

Courthouse surveillance video shows the prisoners shouting, banging on the walls, and eventually breaking free of their holding cell, to get the attention of deputies in the courtroom above.

When the officers came to check what the fuss was about, they saw Mr Grim without a pulse, so they called paramedics.

Their commotion caught the attention of courthouse guards, who came to see what the fuss was about. Source: Parker County Sheriff's Office

While preparing for open heart surgery this week, the now retired guard is still emotional recalling the moment the inmates saved his life.

“Instead of overtaking me and taking my gun, and killing me or taking a hostage and escaping, they looked at me as a human being,” Mr Grimm told  WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas.

“I just slumped and went out. Next thing I remember is looking up at the ceiling in the ER.”

When officers arrived, they saw Gary Grim unconscious, and called paramedics. Source: Parker County Sheriff's Office

Mr Grimm, who worked for the Texas prison system for more than 20 years, retired in December due to his heart condition.

He told WFAA he treated inmates with respect, regardless of their crimes, and it appeared that compassion paid off.

The now retired guard was able to be treated in hospital and is preparing for major heart surgery. Source: Facebook/Gary Grimm

"I get emotional. If they wished harm for me, all they had to do was sit there and do nothing.

“Instead of overtaking me and taking my gun, and killing me or taking a hostage and escaping, they looked at me as a human being,” he said.

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