One of the officers attacked at the Marathon County Jail is hono - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

One of the officers attacked at the Marathon County Jail is honored

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

One of the Marathon County corrections officers hurt in the jail attack last month is speaking out for the first time. Denney Woodward was honored Tuesday afternoon for what his department calls an act of bravery. 

A bittersweet day for Officer Denney Woodward.  

"Nervous of course, but a little sad, I wish I didn't get this award or for this never happen, but it did," said Woodward. 

Woodward received an award at the Marathon County Courthouse, for what sheriff's officials say was a heroic act.

"It's always good feeling when we can give some kind of award to one of our officers for their service to the community and the department," said Marathon County Chief Deputy, Scott Parks. 

On March 27th, officials say an inmate, 20-year old Fredrick Morris of Wausau, attacked Officer Julie Christensen in his cell block. That's when Woodward says he jumped in to help.

"I chased the inmate down away from Julie to protect her," said Woodward.

Another officer says she also responded.  

"Inmates were yelling, it was very loud and very chaotic," said Officer Wendy McCarthy. 

Wendy McCarthy has worked at the jail for 15 years. She says the day of the attack was the worst she's ever experienced.  

"I was near the door because I was serving medicine that day and we were directing inmates to their cell and when that process was being done that was when Julie was hit in the face," said McCarthy. 

McCarthy says she quickly called for help. Both Woodward and Christensen were taken to the hospital. Woodward was released the same day.

But Christensen was critically injured and remains there.

McCarthy says luckily, she wasn't hurt.

"Guardian angels and good staff, Denny did a wonderful job," said McCarthy. 

Both McCarthy and Woodward say helping a coworker was the least they could do.  

"It's my job and we're all family," said McCarthy. 

Woodward says he's grown a little bit after this incident.

He says he'll be more aware of those who need help.  

"I would do it again in a heartbeat," said Woodward. 

According to the sheriff's department, Officer Christensen is still in intensive care. The inmate, Fredrick Morris, is in the Lincoln County Jail. No charges have been filed.  

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