Patrick O’Neil Gentry
Photo: Carroll County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Carroll County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff: Jailer seriously injured after inmate threw her over railing by her hair

A Carroll County jailer is at home recovering Tuesday after she was seriously injured in an attack by an inmate and fell 12 feet onto a block partition, authorities said.

The 20-year-old jailer, whose name was not released, was hospitalized at Grady Memorial Hospital following the attack Sunday. She was thrown over a railing by her hair and landed on a partition that divides the cell block’s showers, a Carroll County sheriff’s spokeswoman said. 

The woman suffered head and possible back injuries from her fall.

The inmate, identified as Patrick O’Neil Gentry, 34, is now facing a litany of charges in addition to the five that first landed him in jail in August.

“He has a lengthy criminal history from Georgia and Florida,” spokeswoman Investigator Ashley Hulsey said.

The jail officer first confronted Gentry about some items in his possession she discovered during a cell search, according to the sheriff’s office. Things got heated, and Hulsey said Gentry’s cellmate tried to intervene. 

“They got into a scuffle to begin with, and the other inmate got in between them to try to break them up,” she said. “That’s when he swung her over a guard rail by her hair.”

When the officer fell, his cellmate stepped in to detain Gentry until backup could arrive, she said.

Sheriff Terry Langley said the injured officer has been an asset to his office for a little more than two years and is highly respected by both her coworkers and jail inmates, “as is clear by their willingness to assist her in a dangerous situation.”


For Immediate Release: JAIL OFFICER ATTACKED AND SERIOUSLY INJURED BY INMATE (Carroll County, GA) On January 12, 2020...

Posted by Carroll County Sheriff's Office on Monday, January 13, 2020

“We are actively working this investigation and will fiercely prosecute Gentry to the fullest extent, as we do not tolerate anyone who would have such a lack of respect and disregard for human life, especially for someone who selflessly serves this department and the citizens of Carroll County,” Langley said in a statement.

Gentry has since been moved to an isolation unit. In addition to charges of forgery, criminal damage to property, providing false information to law enforcement, terroristic threats and parole violation stemming from his August arrest in Villa Rica, Gentry is now facing a charge of criminal attempt to commit murder.

He is also facing charges of aggravated assault against law enforcement, aggravated battery and a fresh charge of terroristic threats related to the attack.

Gentry has served three stints in prison since 2006, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records. In total, he has spent about nine years behind bars and was most recently released from prison June 5, two months before his arrest.

His past convictions were in Carroll, Douglas and Polk counties and include counts of motor vehicle theft, burglary, aggravated battery, obstruction, possession of methamphetamine and terroristic threats, state prison records show.

Patrick O'Neal Gentry is a felon with convictions in three Georgia counties.
Photo: Georgia Department of Corrections

Since the attack, Hulsey said calls of support have poured into the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, especially from other law enforcement agencies. They are all rooting for the injured officer to pull through.

“She has a long road to recovery, but we are very thankful she’s back home,” Hulsey said.

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.