|RE: ATTEMPTED INMATE SUICIDES|
|Friday, 15 April 2011 14:33|
Sheriff Paul C. May has released the following information:
RE: ATTEMPTED INMATE SUICIDES
Detention Deputies at the Okeechobee County Jail during the week of April 11, 2011, foiled two separate cases of attempted suicide. On April 13, 2011, at approximately 10:30 am, Detention Deputies responded to the segregation unit where they observed an inmate hanging in his cell. The inmate had a sheet tied around his neck and looped through the cell door. Detention Deputy Thomas Carter grabbed the inmate around his body and lifted him up relieving the strain around his neck. Deputy Sheriff Heath Hughes untied the sheet around the gate and his neck. Medical was on the scene and massaged his neck and provided oxygen. The inmate was taken by ambulance to the hospital and later returned to the jail after spending one night in ICU.
Detention Deputies also responded to another attempted suicide that same evening around 8:00 pm. Another inmate in the segregation unit attempted to hang himself by tying a sheet around his neck. Detention Deputies responded to the housing unit and found the inmate had tied the sheet around his neck and the gate. As Deputies responded, Lt. Van Hortman placed his hands through the food flap in an effort to relieve the pressure on the inmate’s neck. The inmate had tied the sheet through the gate in an attempt to prevent the door from being opened. He had also flooded his cell to make the floor slippery. Corporal Randy Worth assisted Lt. Hortman in holding up the inmate. Other staff was summoned and Detention Deputy Elbert Kline responded to the unit with a pair of scissors. The inmate was cut down and transported to the hospital by ambulance. The inmate was later returned to the jail. Both inmates were reassigned to the protective padded cell and placed on a fifteen minute watch.
This was the third time an inmate has attempted suicide in the jail this year. On February 9, 2011, Detention Deputy Geri Theobald responded to one of the female dorms and observed a female inmate lying in a crouched position with something tied around her neck. Deputy Theobald found the material to be elastic from a pair of panties and broke the elastic and saved the inmate’s life. Quick thinking and appropriate action by Detention staff resulted in the saving of three lives. All three inmates were literally seconds away from certain death when these Deputies did what they have been trained to do.
Sheriff Paul C. May states, “Some people who end up in jail feel like they have reached the end of the line. They choose suicide and try to do it in our jail. In the past, some of these have been successful; this is three that were not. I am very proud of these Detention Deputies. When some people are successful committing suicide in jail you hear the rumors that the Detention Deputies are not doing their jobs and nobody cares. These three cases show that nothing could be further from the truth. I thank them for a job well done.”
Michele Bell, Public Information Officer
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office
504 NW 4th Street
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
(863)763‐ 7157 (fax)