Inmate With History of Carrying Shanks Uses One to Stab Harris County Jailer

One shank, two shanks, three shanks, four?

An inmate with a propensity for carrying homemade stabbing devices, or "shanks," for you novices, has now been accused of stabbing a Harris County jailer with...well...a shank.

According to authorities, 33-year-old Weylin Alford, who is currently serving a sentence for burglary with attempt to assault, stabbed a detention officer at the Harris County Jail on Monday after officers attempted to complete a sanitation check of the inmate's cell.

Alford, who is categorized as a "chronically violent inmate," would not place his hands through an opening in the door to be handcuffed, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christina Garza told the Chron.

One of the officers opened the door anyway, and attempted to subdue Alford by giving verbal commands, according to Garza, while reaching for his pepper spray. But Alford rushed the jailer with a rolled-up mattress and proceeded to stab him with a hairbrush that had been sharpened into -- you guessed it -- a shank.

According to reports, the officer was stabbed in the ear, temple and scalp, and an officer who attempted to intervene during the shanking suffered what appears to be a broken hand. Neither injury was life-threatening, according to Garza.

This stabbing incident happened while the jail was under inspection by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, by the way. We're sure they were pleased.

A number of issues have been raised about the Harris County Jail in recent months, including the case of a mentally ill inmate who was found living in a rancid cell filled with human waste and trash last year. According to the Chron, those complaints prompted the surprise visit from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

While this situation is pretty awful, it's not like there was no forewarning of Alford's violent tendencies. The dude was caught in a Houston courtroom in October with not one but two shanks tied to himself, and two more were found in his jail cell during a subsequent search.

Following the discovery, Alford told bailiffs that he'd had a shank with him every time he had gone to court, which was often, since the dude was caught the day he was to hear the verdict on that "burglary with intent to assault" case he's currently in jail for.

Alford is now facing charges of aggravated assault on a public servant for the jailhouse shanking.

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