Jailer Seriously Injured In Scuffle With Inmate Undergoes Surgery

Tiffany Denise Mathis (Jail photo)
By  | 

WACO (July 16, 2014) A female McLennan County jailer who was seriously in a scuffle with a female special-needs inmate she was taking to the shower was in stable condition Thursday after undergoing surgery for a broken leg and a torn meniscus, Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon said.

Special needs inmates are those who require extra attention because of physical or psychiatric issues, Cawthon said.

Cawthon said the jailer was taking Tiffany Denise Mathis, 32, to shower early Wednesday morning when Mathis broke away and began to run toward a door.

The jailer, who wasn't identified was injured in the scuffle to subdue Mathis, Cawthon said.

She was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, where she remained Thursday after the surgery.

"It just punctuates how dangerous it is for our jailers to work in that environment," Cawthon said.

At the time of the incident Mathis was held in lieu of bonds totaling $19,000 charged with burglary of a habitation, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and theft more than $50 but less than $1,500, online jail records showed.

Cawthon said Mathis, who has been in custody since Feb. 14, will likely face additional charges in connection with the assault.

"It's important to note that police officers face danger every day, but so do these jailers who deal with those who are arrested on the streets," Cawthon said.

"Sheriff (Parnell) McNamara is not going to put up with this kind of incident inside the jail,” he said.