A 26-year-old inmate at Miami Correctional Facility in Indiana faces a charge of attempted murder after police say he escaped from handcuffs and tried to strangle a Decatur County deputy who was driving him from a court hearing.

Joshua Stam was being transported back to the prison on Aug. 30 after a court appearance in Decatur County, according to an Indiana State Police press release.

Police said as the transport car approached the prison, Stam was able to free himself from the handcuffs he was wearing and attacked Decatur County Sheriff’s Department Transport Officer David Weakley, reports the Kokomo Tribune.

Stam choked the officer and attempted to take his department issued handgun from the holster, police said.

As the inmate was getting the upper hand on the officer, a passerby witnessed the struggle and alerted two Indiana Department of Correction auto maintenance employees, who were working in a nearby building.

Police said the two employees ran to the officer’s aid, stopping the attack and preventing Stam from escaping.

After the altercation, Officer Weakley was transported to a Peru hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police said he has since been released.

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