Denton County Jail Guard Loses Eye During Inmate's Escape Attempt

Denton County detention officer Jason Inman lost his left eye Monday night when he tried to catch an inmate who ran off during medical treatment.

The inmate, Matthew Harmon, required a visit to the hospital. When he and Inman arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton, medical staff needed him unshackled. Inman took a restraint off Harmon and he bolted. Inman chased Harmon and tried to grab him, but the officer hit his face on a window sill. The energies caused him to lose his left eyeball.

“Jason is recovering and has a very long road ahead of him,” Sheriff Tracy Murphree wrote in a Facebook post. “Jason did an outstanding job and we are proud of him.”

The sheriff’s office said Harmon did not strike Inman, who “followed the inmate into the hallway and upon making contact, [Inman] fell and struck his face on a window.” 

Harmon ran away, leaving Inman on the ground. Inman’s head and face were severely injured on the left side. The sheriff’s office confirmed the officer lost his left eye. Denton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Orlando Hinojosa said hospital staff rounded up the inmate and held him down until other sheriff’s deputies arrived. Hinojosa said the inmate underwent the treatment he needed.

Inman is stable, according to the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. He was flown to a Fort Worth hospital for emergency surgery and remains in the hospital.

Harmon has three counts of theft of a firearm on his record from April. His record also includes charges of intending to give false information to authorities and possession of a controlled substance. After the escape attempt Monday night, he has been charged with an escape causing serious bodily injury.

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