Bethany man commended for actions in assisting jailer during Harrison County jail altercation

Dustin Fortner booking photo

A Bethany resident, Dustin Fortner, 38, has been commended for his decisive intervention during a purported confrontation at the Harrison County Jail on June 24.

Court documents available online reveal that Fortner played a crucial role in subduing another inmate, Jay Rasmussen, 34, also from Bethany, who had allegedly assaulted a female correctional officer with a sharp glass shard. Fortner reportedly aided in restraining Rasmussen until reinforcements arrived to secure him and subsequently place him in a restraint chair. Following this incident, Rasmussen was isolated in a solitary confinement cell.


Dustin Fortner booking photo
Dustin Fortner (Photo courtesy Harrison County Detention Center)


The incident was recorded, and the prosecuting attorney supplied the court with a DVD detailing the alleged altercation. On September 19, the court acknowledged Fortner’s actions as brave and commendable, stating that he assisted the jail staff in regaining control of the situation before anyone could be harmed, however, the court clarified that this act of valor would not influence the bond amount for Fortner’s two ongoing cases in Harrison County.

Currently, the bond remains unchanged. It is set at $500,000, cash only, in a case related to charges of enticement or attempted enticement of a child and second-degree child molestation. Another bond is established at $75,000, cash only, concerning a case of felony abuse or neglect of a child.

Fortner is slated to make his next court appearance on September 21.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen had previously been sentenced in August to nine months of incarceration after being convicted in June of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault.