In­mate hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter sui­cide at­tempt

Wo­man at­tempted to hang her­self with shoelaces

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­ Twit­ter: @An­drew_IndyNews

An in­mate at Charles County De­ten­tion Cen­ter was re­sus­ci­tated af­ter she at­tempted sui­cide by hang­ing in her cell last week, po­lice an­nounced on Wed­nes­day.

A cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer found the 27-year-old wo­man with shoelaces tied around her neck and im­me­di­ately called for help as he low­ered her and as­sessed her con­di­tion, a press re­lease states. The wo­man had stopped breath­ing, so of­fi­cers be­gan CPR. She soon be­gan to breathe on her own and she was flown to a hospi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

De­tec­tives of the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice as­sumed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and dis­cov­ered that the wo­man told other in­mates that she wanted to go to the hospi­tal in­stead of be­ing in­car­cer­ated, po­lice re­ported. How­ever, none of the in­mates alerted jail staff about her com­ments.

The wo­man, who was be­ing held af­ter al­legedly vi­o­lat­ing pro­ba­tion con­di­tions stem­ming from a DUI, was re­leased from po­lice cus­tody on her own per­sonal re­cog­ni­zance while still at the hospi­tal. Her health had im­proved and her in­juries were no longer con­sid­ered life-threat­en­ing, ac­cord­ing to a sher­iff’s of­fice spokesper­son. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing. Last year, two in­mates at the Charles County De­ten­tion Cen­ter com­mit­ted sui­cide while in cus­tody.

On July 13, 2015, cor­rec­tions of­fi­cers found Tevin Der­rell Gar­cia, 24, of no fixed ad­dress, un­con­scious with a bed­sheet around his neck. He died a short time later in a hospi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a CCSO press re­lease.

Gar­cia was ar­rested on July 6 for giv­ing a false name to po­lice to avoid pros­e­cu­tion and car­ry­ing a con­cealed deadly weapon, court records in­di­cate. Records show he paid his bail for that case on July 9, but he had been cited for drink­ing al­co­hol in a pro­hib­ited area on April 20. An ar­rest war­rant was is­sued on June 24, and served July 8, while he was still in the county jail.

The re­lease states he couldn’t pay the $100 bail on the drink­ing charge.

A few months later, another in­mate com­mit­ted sui­cide.

On Oct. 1 around 4 p.m., a cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer found a fe­male in­mate, Cara Rachell Dor­wart, 27, hang­ing from a bed­sheet — which was af­fixed to a towel hook — inside her cell, ac­cord­ing to a CCSO press re­lease.

The of­fi­cer took im­me­di­ate ac­tion by call­ing for as­sis­tance and med­i­cal help. The of­fi­cer then swiftly re­moved the sheet from the wo­man’s neck. Med­i­cal per­son­nel, who work inside the de­ten­tion cen­ter per­formed CPR, ac­ti­vated an au­to­mated elec­tronic de­fib­ril­la­tor and were able to bring the wo­man’s pulse back, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Paramedics ar­rived and trans­ported the wo­man to Charles Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter where she was ad­mit­ted in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

On Sun­day at 6:22 p.m. Dor­wart died. Her body was trans­ported to the Of­fice of the Chief Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner in Bal­ti­more where an au­topsy will be per­formed.

Dor­wart was ar­rested on Sept. 29 for fail­ing to ap­pear in court on a theft charge; she was be­ing held in lieu of $5,000 bail, the re­lease states.

At the time of the in­ci­dent, she was the sole oc­cu­pant of her cell.

“The cor­rec­tions of­fi­cers have a tremen­dous re­spon­si­bil­ity. On av­er­age, we have 350 in­mates,” said CCSO spokes­woman Diane Richard­son. “They’re re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing the in­mates safe, as well as keep­ing the com­mu­nity safe, and they do a good job.”

“Un­for­tu­nately, sui­cides do take place in jails,” she con­tin­ued. “They tend to be few and far be­tween, but they do hap­pen. And any­time it does hap­pen, it has an im­pact on our of­fi­cers. It’s a very dif­fi­cult thing for them to see. In this case, they took quick ac­tion and they were able to bring this wo­man back to life.”

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