PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) – Tuesday, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators responded to the report of an attack on a Jack Jones Juvenile Justice Center officer.
Captain William D. Smithwick, 59, was beaten in an assault during the safety check of a cell occupied by a juvenile detainee, whose name is not being released.
The juvenile was being held by JJC for the Division of Youth Services.
During the initial encounter, Smithwick discovered contraband in the cell of the juvenile detainee, who Smithwick had also overheard threatening to harm himself.
Per protocol, Smithwick immediately contacted DYS officials and alerted them of the threats. Thereafter, Smithwick entered the cell to establish monitoring procedures at which time he was punched several times in the face by the juvenile detainee.
Smithwick attempted to exit the cell but was forcefully pursued by the juvenile detainee, who punched Smithwick repeatedly about his face and the back of his head.
Other officers responded and the juvenile detainee retreated back to his cell, where he was secured until later being transported back to DYS in Alexandria, Ark.
Meanwhile, Smithwick was transported by ambulance to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center.
However, soon after arriving at JRMC, Smithwick was airlifted by Pafford Air One Bravo EMS to Little Rock, Ark., when his condition worsened.
Smithwick sustained a fractured skull, trauma to both his face and nose, including some internal bleeding in the head area.
Capt. Smithwick is a 19-year veteran of the JJC.
An investigation is underway and 2nd degree battery charges against the juvenile are looming.