In­mate gouges out own eye, sues jail

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST -

fire,” the law­suit says.

At the time, Sawyers was suf­fer­ing from acute, un­con­trolled and se­vere men­tal ill­ness, the law­suit says. Min­eral County Sher­iff Fred Hos­selkus faxed a re­port to the jail the next day from a li­censed coun­selor not­ing that Sawyers was un­der the care of a Ne­braska psy­chi­a­trist, Dr. Eli Ch­e­sen.

Ch­e­sen rec­om­mended that jail­ers watch him closely be­cause, “it is likely that his delu­sions and be­hav­ior in re­ac­tions to his delu­sions may in­ten­sify.”

On Nov. 19, two days af­ter Sawyers’ ar­rest, a men­tal health em­ployee eval­u­ated Sawyers, and noted that his pre­scribed med­i­ca­tion had run out, the law­suit says.

The next day, Sawyers met briefly with a med­i­cal doc­tor but re­fused treat­ment. Jail­ers placed him in a spe­cial sui­cide-pre­ven­tion cell, and he did not re­ceive any fur­ther med­i­cal or psy­chi­atric care.

Stan­dard sui­cide-watch cri­te­ria call for reg­u­lar checks ev­ery 15 min­utes, the law­suit says. Jail­ers re­ported that over three days, Sawyers talked and shouted at imag­i­nary peo­ple, uri­nated in his drink­ing cup, dis­robed and lay face­down on the floor.

For three hours ei­ther on Dec. 1 or Dec. 2, no one ob­served him as he gouged out his eye, the law­suit said.

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