Jail officer hospitalized after inmate attack is home, in pain, and in “better spirits”

Corrections Officer William Watt | GoFundMe

A Cook County Jail correctional officer who was hospitalized with serious injuries after a maximum-security detainee attacked him and two co-workers last Tuesday is “sounding much better” but “still has massive pain,” according to updates on a GoFundMe page that is raising money for his recovery.

Yesterday, a grand jury returned attempted murder, kidnapping, and other charges against 30-year-old Dante Jeffries and his cellmate, 23-year-old Sharelle Sims in connection with the attack.

Officer William Watt was the most seriously injured of the three correctional officers who were targeted in the attack. Watt was helping another officer who had been choked unconscious by Jeffries when he was also attacked, according to information provided by the sheriff’s office.

“Officer Watt was knocked unconscious and struck his head on the concrete floor…It was discovered he had a skull fracture and a brain bleed,” the GoFundMe sponsor wrote.

Video of the attack shows an officer falling hard to the floor after being punched in the face on a catwalk.

Watt, a seven-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was released from a hospital two days later.

The GoFundMe campaign raised more than $35,000 of its $50,000 goal by this afternoon.

Watt “is aware of the battles ahead he’s going to be facing and he is mentally and physically preparing himself,” the campaign sponsor reported. “He still has massive pain, but was in better spirits.”

“Times like these renew one’s faith in the good of humanity.”

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com