Attack Over Soup Leaves Inmate Hospitalized

Injured inmate said to be suffering from a brain bleed, seizures

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Daytona Beach, FL - A man already locked up in the Volusia County Branch Jail racks up more charges after he attacked an inmate over packets of soup, according to a report from the Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO).

Around 11:30 Sunday morning (January 24th), deputies were called to the Halifax Health Medical Center after hearing that an inmate was admitted to the hospital following an altercation at the branch jail. According to their report, deputies were unable to speak with the inmate—who remains unidentified—as he was unconscious and intubated.

A corrections officer (CO) who was in the room told investigators that the inmate was sedated and suffering from a brain bleed. They further stated that the inmate had been having seizures while they were with him at the hospital.

Later that day, deputies met with the other inmate, 40-year-old Joshua Harper, and asked him to tell his side of the story. Harper told investigators that the other inmate, his cellmate, had been stealing soup from other inmates in their block. Harper also added that he had received threats from other inmates, since the supposed thief was his cellmate.

While medications were being dispensed, Harper said he confronted his cellmate about the supposed theft, which is when his cellmate accused him of stealing the soup instead. That's when Harper got into the inmate's face, which led him to shove Harper back. After he was shoved, Harper punched his cellmate once on the left side of his head and walked away.

A nurse who was nearby didn't see the attack happen, but she saw the inmate jerking his arms and legs after he was punched.

A CO who was around Harper at the time of the altercation stated that Harper commented that he didn't steal any soup before striking the inmate without any provocation. The CO also alleged that Harper commented about how he was proud for striking the other inmate, showing no remorse for the attack.

According to the Volusia County Corrections website, Harper has been in custody since December 28th for multiple charges, including drug paraphernalia possession and dealing in stolen property. He is now facing an additional charge of aggravated battery causing bodily harm and remains in custody without bond.

In an email sent to News Daytona Beach, Gary Davidson, spokesperson for Volusia County, confirmed that the victim remains in intensive care at Halifax Health Medical Center.

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