Deputies save suicidal inmate

OKEECHOBEE — A Michigan woman being held in the county jail on a misdemeanor theft charge reportedly tried to kill herself, but quick action by detention deputies prevented her death.

The 18-year-old Grosse Ile, Mich., woman was arrested March 6 at the Okeechobee Music Festival. She was charged with petit theft, a misdemeanor, and was being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on $2,000 bond.

According to a report by Deputy Yero Todman, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), the young woman was upset because she was supposed to be released Friday, April 8, from jail. But, she wasn’t.

“When time continued to go by, she became upset and decided to harm/end her life,” stated Deputy Todman.

But, detention deputies Lisa Charles and Tyler Ott weren’t about to let that happen.

When Detention Deputy Charles made her rounds in C-Pod at 11:56 p.m. Friday she reportedly saw the woman’s head facing the door with a white sheet around the 5-foot-2, 120-pound woman’s neck, and her hands were tied behind her back.

Deputy Charles got the noose from the woman’s neck and freed her hands.

She, along with Deputy Ott, immediately began trying to revive the woman with cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Emergency medical personnel from Okeechobee County Fire/Rescue soon arrived to find the woman “… sitting upright on her bunk,” stated Deputy Todman’s report. She was then taken to Raulerson Hospital for additional medical treatment.

The woman reportedly told Deputy Todman her attorney told her she would be bonded out of jail Friday and she was excited about being released.

Deputy Todman went on to state that a suicide note was found by detention deputies.

It was the immediate action by deputies Charles and Ott that saved the woman’s life, added Deputy Todman.

Jail records indicate the woman was released from jail Monday, April 11, on her own recognizance.

Records show there have been six suicides in the county jail since Sept. 1, 1992. The latest of which, came in December of last year when a male inmate hanged himself with a bedsheet that was attached to his bunk bed.

When the 48-year-old man was freed from the noose around 5 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2015, he was still alive. He was rushed to Raulerson Hospital, then transferred to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce where he died Dec. 30.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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