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Inmate dies after attempting to die by suicide at Erie County Holding Center

Posted at 1:27 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 06:36:32-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The father of an inmate who attempted to die by suicide Friday has confirmed to 7 Eyewitness News that he has now died.

34-year-old Robert Ingalsbe, Jr. was originally admitted to the Erie County Holding Center last Thursday and the Erie County Sheriff's Office says he attempted suicide Friday.

Ingalsbe's father, also named Robert, said his son was a "wonderful, loving person" who suffered after an opioid addiction.
He says when Ingalsbe was taken into custody the family told the Sheriff's Department he was suicidal.

Now, he says not enough was done to save his son.

The incident occurred early Friday afternoon.

Ingalsbe was discovered by a deputy performing a routine supervisory tour and officials responded immediately and began life-saving measures.

Life-saving measures continued for 30 minutes until a pulse was detected.

He was transported to the hospital for continued treatment.

By the family's request the sheriff's office says they contacted the presiding judge who immediately lifted the warrant allowing the release of the inmate from custody and allowing the family to be with the patient.

Ingalsbe, Sr. disputed that claim -- saying the family arrived to the hospital immediately but were unable to see their loved one as he was being guarded for at least 6 hours.
Sr., said his son was brain dead by the time he was released into the family's custody and they were allowed to see him.

Ingalsbe, Sr said he is taking comfort in the fact that his son was able to donate his organs and save at least 5 other lives.
He wants his son's death to be the last in the holding center, and is calling for immediate action saying he wants the department to "clean house".

Ingalsbe, Jr. leaves behind two young children.

The Democratic chair of the Erie County Legislature, April Baskin, issued a statement that read in part:

"Four deaths in less than three months is an obscenity. The death of Robert Ingalsbe is further proof that Sheriff Howard is incapable of managing Erie County’s jail operations."

According to Baskin, there have been 31 deaths in Erie County’s jails since Sheriff Howard was elected in 2005. She's now requesting that the sheriff, the head physician of Correctional Health and Erie County Mental Health Commissioner Michael Ranney attend the next meeting of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee to discuss medical protocols, particularly those relating to suicide and drug withdrawal.