Third Suicide Baffles Jail Officials

August 1, 2010 Updated Aug 1, 2010 at 9:11 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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August 1, 2010 Updated Aug 1, 2010 at 9:11 PM EDT

On Wednesday a 26-year old Buffalo man was arrested and brought to the Erie county Holding Center. Three days later he was found dead hanging from a sheet attached to his cell door.

"From the time he was in our custody to the time we found him hanging in his cell, he gave us no warning or indication he wanted to harm himself," said Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman.

Officials are not yet releasing the man's name but say he was charged with violating probation and a restraining order and for a domestic incident. As part of new procedures put in place after a recent Justice Department law suit, jail staffers kept the man in a detoxification center for two days while he sobered up from drinking nearly 12 beers.

A deputy on the unit reports walking past the man's cell on the way to a staff bathroom. He says he saw the man sitting on his bed showing no signs of distress. When the deputy returned six minutes later he found the man dead. He was due to be released to general housing later that day.

Reports of unconstitutional conditions in the jail has the facility under intense scrutiny. The inmate suicide rate is five times the national average according to some statistics. But, jail officials say they've cleaned up their act and followed every step of protocol in this case.

"I don't care if an inmate comes in charged with disorderly conduct or murder our job with Sheriff's office and the county health department is to treat everyone fairly and humanely and if we know they are a threat to themselves, protect them," said Wipperman.

Jail officials say deputies performed CPR on the man until emergency crews showed up but the man was later pronounced dead at Buffalo General Hospital
the investigation into his death is still ongoing.

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) On Wednesday a 26-year old Buffalo man was arrested and brought to the Erie county Holding Center. Three days later he was found dead hanging from a sheet attached to his cell door.

"From the time he was in our custody to the time we found him hanging in his cell, he gave us no warning or indication he wanted to harm himself," said Erie County Undersheriff Mark Wipperman.

Officials are not yet releasing the man's name but say he was charged with violating probation and a restraining order and for a domestic incident. As part of new procedures put in place after a recent Justice Department law suit, jail staffers kept the man in a detoxification center for two days while he sobered up from drinking nearly 12 beers.

A deputy on the unit reports walking past the man's cell on the way to a staff bathroom. He says he saw the man sitting on his bed showing no signs of distress. When the deputy returned six minutes later he found the man dead. He was due to be released to general housing later that day.

Reports of unconstitutional conditions in the jail has the facility under intense scrutiny. The inmate suicide rate is five times the national average according to some statistics. But, jail officials say they've cleaned up their act and followed every step of protocol in this case.

"I don't care if an inmate comes in charged with disorderly conduct or murder our job with Sheriff's office and the county health department is to treat everyone fairly and humanely and if we know they are a threat to themselves, protect them," said Wipperman.

Jail officials say deputies performed CPR on the man until emergency crews showed up but the man was later pronounced dead at Buffalo General Hospital
the investigation into his death is still ongoing.