ONLY ON 3: Man beaten in Bladen Co. Jail probably should not have been there

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Submitted: Thu, 01/24/2013 - 4:59am
Updated: Thu, 01/24/2013 - 7:20pm

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County woman says her husband is fighting for his life tonight after being beaten while in jail. And making the whole thing even more upsetting is that Joshua Ward maybe should not have even been behind bars in the first place.

Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Ward was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a traffic infraction. He was booked in the Bladen County Jail. By 5:30 p.m., he was severely beaten by inmates.

“They put a sheet over the camera and beat him within an inch of his life,” Ward’s wife Amanda said.

Amanda says her husband suffered three broken ribs, a broken nose, 12 stitches to his face and head and bleeding in his brain. She says he should not have been arrested in the first place.

“He had already went to court, and the lawyer told him it had been continued, go on home,” she said.

She’s also outraged, because she says she learned of her husband’s beating from a friend and that the jail has not given her any information.

“They don’t want to talk,” Amanda said. “They don’t want to say anything. They’re sorry.”

Bladen County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Capt. Rodney Hester said in a statement, “We understand Mr. Ward was severely beaten last night. An investigation is underway, and charges will be filed.”

Amanda Ward says she wants answers.

“Sorry is not fixing it,” she said. “Sorry is not making it better. Nobody is fessing up. Nobody is standing up to say, ‘Hey, we’re responsible for this. What can we do to help?'”

At last check, Ward is listed in serious condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.


  • accountant says:

    I am sure there is more to this story. But just one question. Why was the camera in the cell and not outside the cell so that the camera could not be covered up? I agree, that if the lawyer was supposed to handle the case, he is responsible. This happened to my sister, but she just had her license revoked, but reinstated after everything was cleared up. So, again I say there is more to this story on both sides. I pray that the man will pull through and that the ones who did this to him, get what is heading their way.

  • Guest123 says:

    Honey – sue ‘em all for what happened to your husband. Get a good attorney and have them start with your previous lawyer, then move on up to Bladen County. Make sure this doesn’t happen again. Good luck and my prayers are with you, your husband and family.

  • thetruthspeaks says:

    Look people he went to court, this is a crooked small town politics and police that have messed up severely. The magistrate and his lawyer had paperwork proving his innocence on the fta he was arrested for. There is no taking up for these sorry excuses for police that dragged him out of his car and took him to jail, wrongfully. He was beaten and could have died, and you people are blaming him for going to court on a traffic infringement. They can find a fta but not a bank robber. O and the “gaurds”” were outside talking to town cops smoking cigarettes.

  • Mike D says:

    and immediatly after hearing from her I myself checked to see if his case had indeed been continued,”IT HAD” until march. Josh should not have been arrested, if the public database had that information so quickly you would think that bladen county would come on up to the 21st century with the rest of the world so they could access their computers or place pertinant information on them so someone would not have to endure the ignorance of the people they hire in this county to be law enforcement officers, The courts by the way are also a joke in bladen county, someone said it earlier its who you know, And I will add this how much money they can get out of you by whatever means necessary legal or not. I don’t say this blindly as I myself was personally extorted by the Honorable Nancy Phillips out of over $15,000.00 and yes I have the evidence to substanciate this.
    The final word in the matter is this Bladen County legal system is corrupt.

  • thetruthspeaks says:

    Look people he went to court, this is a crooked small town politics and police that have messed up severely. The magistrate and his lawyer had paperwork proving his innocence on the fta he was arrested for. There is no taking up for these sorry excuses for police that dragged him out of his car and took him to jail, wrongfully. He was beaten and could have died, and you people are blaming hin for going to court on a traffic infringement. They can find a fta but not a bank robber. O and the “gaurds”” were outside talking to town cops smoking cigarettes.

  • realistic says:

    He was just beaten by blacks, there was a white in the picture too my friend.

  • realistic says:

    They are Bladen Community College finest. That the best they have, straight from BCC to goofying up someone’s life.

  • Guest2012 says:

    A good investigation starts with the beginning of a crime. Start with the lawyer. If he made a promise and didn’t keep it, he is a guilty party, also. Then get the guys who beat him.

    I am not for jailing people for minor traffic violations. I see no point in arresting someone for traffic tickets when suspending his license would be sufficient punishment until he can pay the fine.

    I think the lawyer is where this investigation should begin. It may be revealing! Maybe more than a driver’s license is involved here. Maybe the State Bar’s Disciplinary Board ought to be involved and probably will be. Something ain’t right about this case. A lawyer with integrity would represent his client from beginning to the end of a case.

  • carolinagirl1983 says:

    THAT’S BLADEN COUNTY FOR YOU!!!!I sure hope nothing ever happens to me in that county because the cops there are aweful. I’ve dealt with that county before and their investigation skills SUCK!!!!

  • Bladen says:

    One of the men that had beaten him up was white. Look at the facts before u become racist on something that you don’t know

  • Vickie says:

    My son was jump on when he was in Bladen county jail and got hurt pretty bad
    I think they shouldn’t let things like that to happen someone is not doing there Job I even have pictures where he was beaten real bad and when he got beat up the staff at the jail house didn’t contact none of his family members when they took him to the hospital we didn’t hear anything I think something should be done about it.

  • Guest2020 says:

    The police officers can only rely on the information at hand. To accuse them without knowing all the facts is completely premature. If their information is that there is an active warrant, then they have a duty to act on the warrant. We don’t know if that is the case. For all you know the lawyer could have lied to his client or a clerk could have failed to properly enter the disposition of the case. There are a number of possibilities and until further information is given, we really shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

  • Guesty 1 says:

    He got beat by blacks because he was the only white face in there. It was allowed to happen because all the guards are black as well. Why is a camera mounted in a position that allows a sheet to be put over it?? – Get an attorney and sue. Demand people be fired. They ONLY way this mess will change is if the county has to pay through the nose a few times.

  • thetruthspeaks says:

    Doesnt matter what charges he has pending. He was in court. With a lawyer, and was arrested and beaten a week later. Bladen county should bow at his feet. Because this county is crooked as they come.

  • Guest55555665665 says:

    If you search for him, you’ll find he has active charges outstanding in Harnett & Robeson counties too, and one had a court date of 1/23/13. He may have missed one of those. He may also have come to court late and he already had the warrant out for his arrest…the case would have been continued when the warrant was issued, so the statement may have been correct. It doesn’t say if the “attorney” referenced was his attorney or the prosecutor. There is more to this story than has been reported.

  • Guest 2012 says:

    Am I wrong about this? Didn’t Bladen County prohibit smoking on county property? Most counties and cities have taken this measure. I see taxes going up in Bladen County next year to pay for this lawsuit, if Mr. Ward pursues it.

    I also envision a lawyer being disciplined or disbarred for failing to do their sworn duty as an officer of the court. Why hasn’t the lawyer’s name been published? Any good news article answers: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW, the news item occurred. The arresting officer’s name isn’t mentioned. The jail has an AOC computer database in the magistrate’s office. The jailer’s names are not mentioned, those that were outside smoking (if they were).

    Why didn’t the officer who arrested Mr. Ward have taken a few seconds to verify the status of the victim’s case? I’s sure that the first thing out of Mr. Ward’s mouth is similar to: “Officer, my lawyer got the case continued. There is a paper trail to prove it. A quick check of the system will prove it to you.” The OAC database is available 24/7 if someone will take time to access it.

    An outside agency should be brought in to do an unbiased investigation and let the chips fall where they will. It appears, in my opinion, that too many officials dropped the ball here. They need to be identified and released to the press. I hope that WWAY will put their best investigative reporter on this case, not to solve it but to publish names of all involved, not in an accusatory fashion, but to inform the public who watches WWAY to get the news.

  • SBG says:

    Bladen County is a joke. I have lived here over 30 years and can give hundreds of examples of the failures of our ‘fine’ County Law Enforcement. They are so outstanding that a deputy removing a baby snake warranted a front page photo spread in the Bladen Journal. I guess because they suck so bad for the most part at actually doing their jobs.

    Channel 3…..if you really want a story that will blow the place out of the water…start investigating every attorney in town starting with the County attorney. Also do some real investigative journalism and dig deep, check even the judges that work the courts in Bladen County. You make this investigation publicly announced and I will personally hand you more than enough material to give you one helluva jumpstart on your expose.

    What happened to Josh was wrong and the County IS responsible. Getting locked up on FTA? Amazingly…..I would be curious as to how old the warrant is…….because they are supposed to be served within 30 days but, seemingly that is another thing in this County. I have seen warrants over 2 years old served and nothing said by the court judge when it came back before him.

    The LEO of Bladen County are, for the most part, a big joke. Do I feel safe in Bladen? NO
    Does either of my children feel safe in Bladen? NO
    Does it do any good for a woman to try to get help on domestic violence in Bladen? NO! (They will threaten to lock her up too……regardless of the circumstances or injuries)
    For the one or two decent Deputies out there….dudes I hate that you are working with the backwoods hillbilly redneck version of the keystone cops with guns.


    whats the point of a surveillance camera if no one is watching it? Someone could be killed and no one is watching? Senseless

  • Geraldine Hernandez says:

    My son was beaten up by three men while he was sleeping in mallard jail in pearl river county Ms Where was the guards at when that happen. Pretty bad jail.

  • Hank says:

    You are an idiot.

  • Guestcwp says:

    listen to the facts. He went to court, left court and was arrested THE SAME DAY. For a traffic violation, not murder, not drugs, not stealing, HE is one of the good ones that. Was beaten, the same day, Does not have a smart mouth to get him into crap like that, if he was that way, someone may have had the right to kick his a–, but as you can clearly see the man was nearly killed, had his teeth kicked out, broken ribs, bleeding on his brain, broken nose…he was one that DIDNT deserve that and witnesses heard the jailers say when they saw or heard what was going on that they werent getting into that. The man has NO marks on his hands, had no chance to defend himself and had 3 or 4 on him at one time. How would you feel if it were your son, brother…..

  • cindy lewis says:

    For cry me a river, Take this into consideration Say for instance your husband , or father , son ECT… is comeing home from work and recieves a speeding violation, if he was speeding or not, guilty or innocent at this point , it is beside the point. Anyway he goes to court the lawyer says everythings taken care of go on home have a great week, and so on. A few days later he goes to the store and the cops pull in behind him and arrest him for failure to appear , claiming he did not go to court. He says “oh yes I did ,this matter has been takeing care of.” The cop says according to this warrent you didnt, turn around. They handcuff him. Take him to jail. He trys to contact his lawyer, and for some reason can not. Maybe he leaves him a couple of messages. He deciedes to try to sleep to maybe pass the time till his lawyer comes and bails him out. Its not easy getting out of jail on a charge of failure to appear. He goes to sleep. With in two hours, you get a call, not from the jail house, but from a random friend telling you your husband has a serious head injury, with bleeding on his brain. All over a minor traffic violation. Cry me a river, you are apparantly an ignorant,, pompous , heartless, person. I can tell by your statements that you think you are above and better than most of the population, and that you obviously do not believe in innocent until proven guilty. This kind of thing could happen to anyone. Believe it or not by mistake , of course, It could happen to you, even though you are perfect. It could be a mix up in names or something. I could be mad at you go to the magistrates office and tell him you stole something from me or hit me, or you keep calling my phone makeing threats, or a hundred other things. Even though I would be was lieing , the police would come get you and lock you up until you were bailed out. It would be your job to prove your innocence and you could be beaten to a bloody pulp in the time between arriving and leaving, though you would be totally innocent. Are you picking up what Im putting down here. OH yeah, and by not using your name, you and everyone else on here that does not, looks to me to be cowards that voice what ever trash they want to spit at people yet are ashamed to back it up with there identity. Like they are ahamed, but in this case I dont blame you at all, because I too would be very ashamed if I wrote that stupid trash you wrote.

  • windy says:

    If he went to court and was told his case was continued, that means he has to go back! To court! Again! Clearly he did not do so, which constitutes failure to appear, the reason why he was rightfully arrested and thrown in the slammer. As far as what caused his injuries from that point on, one can only surmise; however, it is not very likely that a group of inmates attacked your husband without first being provoked in some way. You know what I mean. This is jail, not a summer vacation. Those who don’t want to end up in jail live their lives responsibly and don’t make light of the law. And yes this requirement extends to those who reside in Bladen county too.

  • kennyb says:

    First of all, you obviously have a problem with the person of interest in this matter, thus provoking your uneducated opinion.You see, I’m simply calling this how I see it and am not benifiting from my personal opinion in any way. May I remind you also that although having been in the “slammer” more times myself than I can count, I am actually aware of what does go on unlike yourself, I can tell by the way you speak as if it is just impossible for any similar situation to be presented to yourself. I can however, assure you that your assumpsions could not be farther from reality. You can go to jail for virtually no fault of your own. It would just be silly for me to get into the ridiculous amount of scenarios that could make this a reality but I promise, you can bank that. Although like I said, I have been locked away in jail, for the most part, by actions taken by myself in moments and phases of sheer stupidity. Im obviously from the south and regardless of my roots, I do believe that any conflict that just has to be settled with hands and such should be done so between two individuals but due to the sheer bordom in most cases, a bunch of punks jump on individuals, in groups of course, minimizing the chances of any injuries being brought on to them. Losing a fight is one thing but being beat into icu by a gang of thugs is another and that is regardless of if this guy was as guilty as sin of the most hideous crime. Like I said and we both know, your opinions are just uneducated ones and we all sound much smarter when we talk about things that we know. Perhaps next time you open your fingers in hopes of expressing yourself, you will do atleast enough homework to make yourself capable of looking like and pretending to know what you are talking about. Really, all you had to say was that you hate this guy. I bet you live through people like me because youve lost the ability to be interesting yourself….kb p.s Ive been on both sides of this fence #thehorsesmouth#

  • JohnGaltDurham says:

    First of all with the police state we live in now there are many reasons that good people find themselves in the court system. Next, if your case is continued you do have to come back, but often it is months down the road, so I would not presume to assume that he was not in the right. Third, government is by nature inefficient, otherwise they would have enslaved us all by now (to quote Milton Friedman).

    I hope you never end up in the court system there Windy, but if you do I do not think you will find it as cut and dry as you presume it is from you high horse right now.

  • Guestk says:

    You can’t even write a paragraph! Get an education and USE it, and then go back and apply. I am sure they would give more consideration to someone who cared about themselves enough to put a best foot forward. Based on the slack way you have butchered the english language and punctuation, I also wouldn’t want you to fight any fires that had lives at stake because I don’t think you care enough for yourself, much less anyone else.

    That being said, I agree that it was not right for this man to be beat without mercy. This is especially true because it is alleged that he was incarcerated for no reason. But again, we do not know the entire story, and I doubt we ever learn.

  • adam says:

    bladen county is about who u know and nobodys perfect even cops go out break laws that ait no lie in that is no way to be but sense i live in bladen it ait got me no were just like i join two fire departments two help and save lifes and got kick off because it is who u know around here and the and the one fire department is tarheel all because i dont fit in but i dont get in no trouble but josh is a smart man can do about anything too help someone out but he just like all the rest of us that dont fit in so bladen didnt care about breaking the fight up he should have not been in there so that is what i wanted too say some that care get down and pray so let jesus be with hin

  • Guest123 says:

    Just…..stop commenting.

  • A set of circumstaces must have set up the “perfect storm”. Maybe he shouldnt have been in jail. But what really led to the beating? Only 2 things pop to mind.. 1) He knew somebody in there already.. 2) Talking smack to the wrong one.. Just thinkin.. Still wrong on all levels however.. We dont know the whole story..Just speculation at this point

  • notatrooper says:

    As some people are innocent, if they are going to put you in, they should be able to keep you safe.
    I would think the minute the sheet went up there should have been help there. In seconds.
    This could happen to anyone’s child
    Our tax dollars will pay for the lawsuit

  • CWP says:

    I have known Joshua all of his life. He has always been quiet, not smart mouthed, an easy going guy. Not a troublemaker. In my opinion, whoever “dropped the ball” on this one is responsible for him being in there to begin with. He is one of the “innocent until proven guilty” citizens that are supposed to be protected while in custody by our public servants. The jailers shouldve been doing their job instead of out smoking in the first place. Someone shouldve been in there the whole time, and if a sheet was placed over the surveillance camera in his cell, somebody shouldve noticed and went to investigate, he may have sustained fewer injuries and saved him and his family a lot of suffering. If the jailers were afraid to go in, it looks like a tazer would reach thru the bars, pepper spray or something.

  • CWP says:

    He made his appearance in court for a traffic violation. The attorney told him he was going to continue and that he could go home. There was a warrant issued for ‘failure to appear’ and he was picked up.

  • B M says:

    if the lawyer is at fault then he should be jailed and license suspended, if he makes it thru the ordeal and gets his license back he will be a lot more careful next time

  • Guest1989 says:

    How did he get booked into the jail without a warrant? Had to be a warrant out there before he was taken behind the door.Some times lawyers tell their client that they will continue the case for them and forget to. Then a called and failed is issued and the client is arrested for failure to appear. Looks like that’s what happened.

  • realistic says:

    Yes, of course Ward should have been safe. This incident is no more special than any other mishap in bladen county. No, our tax dollars shouldn’t pay for this . WARD IS NOT A SAINT IN THIS COUNTY.

  • cindy lewis says:

    No our Tax dollars shouldnt have to pay.., but this is how things get changed. A bunch of pissed off tax payers raising he)) about there tax dollars paying for things like this. Its how and why people get fired and more cameras get installed . Changes for the better. Who said Josh was a saint? Are you a Saint.? I know Im not, but no matter what I get locked up for I should not be allowed to be beaten nearly to death. Josh could have easily continued to have swelling of his brain and died or been a veg. for the rest of his life. A man being beaten nearly to death is to me a very serious thing and not a, mishap [ˈmɪshæp]

    1. an unfortunate accident As you see mishap is an unfortunate accident. There is nothing accidental in three men beaten a man and for what ever reason a team of jailers not stopping them. Yeah, Im afraid the tax payers are gonna pay, Im sure he is going to sue, and I think he should get a barrel load of money for it, and maby it will not happen to anyone else. It shouldnt have happened to him to start with. If you have a problem, it should be with the people that did this to him and the ones that allowed it. I think you have a personal problem with him. you may or may not but it just seems that way to me. ??????

  • realistic says:

    Why you call the inmates dredges, because their where two blacks involved. Well don’t forget there was was also a scatterwag too. Hate what happened to Ward, but i bet you, there morre too the story than youj know. Ward probably got just what he asked for.

  • Guestred says:

    I am speechless. If I were this man’s spouse, I would be furious too. A traffic infraction and this man was put behind bars with the dredges of the earth? And where were the guards? Good luck to the family, I hope they see justice.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    How about we refer to them as dregs of the earth unless they sit in the middle of a river sucking up the bottom…. uhhhh… ok sucking up the bottom works too!!

    Did anybody mention color? Nice race card failure! Grow up….

    Both of you should think some before you embarrass yourselves…. **chuckle**

  • Guest28320 says:

    The individual you are responding to obviously has a learning disorder. I happen to know him and he has a good heart, he just happens to learn differently than the rest of us. You are obviously a bully and probably the type of person who would beat someone within an inch of their life (just like the animals in the Bladen County Jail did to Josh).

  • Guestk says:

    I most certainly am NOT a bully and would never THINK of doing something so horrid! I understand learning disorders very well. I am simply saying that if you want to make a point for people to understand then you need to write in a way that people will understand. If he needs help getting his point across someone should help him do so. This is a free forum and he is perfectly free to post his thoughts. But if he has this severe form of a learning disorder I stand by my statement that perhaps being a first responder isn’t the best career choice for him.

  • Guest123 says:

    For a traffic infraction? This man is fighting for his life? Where were the guards in the jail, on lunch break? there would have to be plenty of noise going on while the animal inmates were trying to kill this man. The jail should be held accountable, they are supposed to monitor and try to keep people safe. Put in jail and 2 hrs later near death. Something serious needs to be done with the wild pack of wolves who could do this to another person.
    This is terrible.
    My prayers are sure with this poor man and his family. I hope he recovers and I hope the charges are upped for the blood thirsty animals that did this.
    IF this poor man dies they should be charged for first degree murder since they planned it out by thinking of coverng the camera etc. They planned what they did. it certainly wasn’t an accident.

  • Guest guest says:

    Praying for josh!!

  • Tuesday Prevatte says:

    Joshua Ward is my uncle. I am only 15 years old and have maybe seen him once when i was a baby. And now for me to see him for the first time i have to see him laying in a hospital bed not responsive and blood just everywhere. Im just so angry that people will literally beat a man they dont know and for no reason. The world these days is just cruel. Now i see why my mom want let me go out on weekends to hang out with my friends because you have so many, rapist, and just mean people who will hurt you for no reason just to satisfy their entertainment. Which is very sick. I might not know alot about my uncle or his wife but i love them dearly and hope he makes it through this without any complications in the future. And to whoever done this to my uncle better be praying really hard to God for mercy, and hope he see`s that you deserve it.

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