Update 7/6/2023: Image was replaced to blur out the wound according to Google advertising policies.
An Oklahoma Correctional Officer is being honored for his heroic actions after being stabbed in the neck by an inmate.
It all went down on October 8, 2021 when Oklahoma Department of Corrections Sgt. Dustin Willbanks and his partner were escorting a maximum security inmate to the showers.
The inmate, Shawn Black, was handcuffed but still able to grip a sharp pencil. On emerging from his cell, Shawn made his move:
"It went in straight through the front and right back,... It missed my esophagus by one-eighth of an inch."Sgt. Dustin Willbanks
After the stabbing, Shawn then tried to overcome Willibank's partner. With the pencil still lodged in his neck Willibanks utilized his training and dedication to assist with subduing the dangerous inmate.
This is a prime example of how quickly a deadly situation can get out of hand while working in the corrections system. Fortunately, Willibanks was able to return to work only a week after the stabbing. However, if the pencil would have struck either the esophagus or an artery, he may not be with us today.
As for inmate Shawn Black who was already serving two concurrent 20-year sentences for armed robbery, he has been charged with the assault and will serve more time.
Willibanks courage in a life or death situation will be recognized with the Medal of Valor, the One Voice United Medal of Honor, the 2021 Oklahoma Department Of Corrections Medal of Valor Award, and by the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation.
"Every day, correctional officers across the state do heroic work, whether it be through changing the life of an inmate with their professionalism and compassion or by protecting their fellow officers and other inmates,... Sgt. Willbanks embodies everything we hope to find in a correctional officer. His selflessness and dedication to his profession were on full display that day. We're extremely thankful for his rapid recovery and proud to see his heroism be recognized across the country."ODOC Director Scott Crow
Let us know what you think of Officer Willibanks courage in the comments below!