Correctional Officer Joe Heddy suffered a fatal heart attack at the Escambia County Road Prison in Cantonment, Florida, after struggling with an inmate at approximately 1:00 pm.
He had responded to a cell in the South Wing dorm after an inmate tied a bedsheet around his own neck and was tightening it in an attempt to commit suicide. He called for assistance and began to struggle with the inmate in an attempt to remove the bedsheet. The inmate continued to resist until officers were able to remove the bedsheet and subdue him.
Officer Heddy then packed up the inmate’s belongings before calling for assistance on the radio and collapsing. Other officers initiated CPR but were unable to resuscitate him. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Officer Heddy was a U.S. Air Force veteran. He had served with the Escambia County Department of Corrections for eight years after having retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons with 20 years of service. He is survived by his wife, three children, and seven grandchildren.