Inmate gouges out own eye, sues jail
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.