Amelia prosecutor recounts battle with suspect trying to escape

Posted at 11:10 PM, Jul 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-07 12:25:17-04

AMELIA, Va. (WTVR) - Amelia County Commonwealth’s Attorney Lee Harrison said he would've continued working Thursday but his wife and a paramedic insisted it would not be a good idea. After all, Harrison's arm was in a sling and he'd just gotten six stitches.

Harrison, police said, was attacked by an inmate trying to escape Amelia County court Thursday morning. [READ MORE: Attack injures three at Amelia courthouse]

“Six stitches-lacerations on my face and nose," said Harrison.  “He kept trying to dig his thumb in my eye and hit me across the face."

One day after the incident, Harrison spoke to CBS 6 about Thursday morning's mayhem.

"An officer was lying on the floor,” he said.  “The inmate was leaving the cell and heading in my direction.  I was just determined he wasn't going to escape."

Harrison said he saw inmate Joseph Greene had a weapon, what looked like shackle chains wrapped around his hand.  He said he knew he was going to get hit, but just wanted to minimize the damage.

"I saw he had a chain dangling down from it, so I got as close as I could, where he couldn't hit me as hard as he wanted to," Harrison said.

Harrison said his injuries are minor compared to what happened to Amelia County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Jones. Jones, who was also attacked, needed 26 stitches and four staples to close his wounds. 

When asked why he didn't just relax and take a long weekend to recover, Harrison said it wasn’t his style  “This is what the people of Amelia County elected me to do.  It's my job.

The sheriff's department continues to investigate how Greene, who was due in court on burglary charges, managed to break free.