Newly housed inmate's jaw broken after 'unprovoked' attack in Harris County jail, authorities say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Five inmates are facing additional charges after the Harris County Sheriff's Office confirmed a newly housed inmate was physically attacked and injured last week.

On Dec. 7 at about 6:50 p.m., a newly housed inmate, identified by court records as 40-year-old Terrence James Jones, claims five other inmates immediately started to verbally harass him as he entered the bunk area, the sheriff's office said.

The five inmates then started punching and physically attacking Jones, breaking his jaw. Jones later found and notified a detention officer of the incident, according to the sheriff's office.

SEE ALSO: 2 Harris County detention officers attacked in jail, authorities say

The investigation was presented to the Harris County District Attorney's Office for the charge of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury.

Court documents identified the five inmates as Trenton Grey, Kevonte Hill, Oshey Petters, Fredrick Gibson and Gregory Kyles, who may now face additional charges.

Robin Foster, an attorney with the Harris County Deputies' Organization, said the increase in recent attacks spotlight the dire need for more resources and staff in the Harris County jail.

"We've been telling commissioners' court that the situation in the jail is very dire and the inmates are at risk," Foster said. "The staffing in the jail is so low that everyone who's working there is stretched very, very thin, and it's impossible for them to keep up with their duties that are there to protect the inmates."

SEE ALSO: Harris County detention officer accused of encouraging and watching 8 inmates attack fellow inmate

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, records show there were 9,116 assaults on inmates, assaults on staff, or fights in the five years between 2016 through 2020. This year alone, that number jumped to 9,928, which is more than the previous five years combined.

"The sheriff himself said he needs a minimum of 550 people and I completely agree with him," Foster said. "They need at least 500 more people in order to alleviate this problem and meet the minimum jail standards that they must by state law."

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