SLO County Jail inmate dies and another attempts suicide

January 7, 2012

A 53-year-old San Luis Obispo County Jail inmate was found dead in his single person cell on Thursday at about 2 p.m.

Kevin Lee Strahl, 53, a transient, was in custody on failure to register as a sex offender.

A deputy performing cell checks noted that Strahl appeared unresponsive and summoned emergency medical personnel. They transported Strahl by ambulance to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Officials do not suspect foul play, said Rob Bryn, sheriff department spokesman. An autopsy is scheduled for early next week.

About two and a half hours later, another deputy also performing cell checks found William Joseph Neufeld, 30, hanging in his cell. He had used a T-shirt to fashion a noose.

Medical personnel administered oxygen and revived Neufeld.

In December, deputies arrested Neufeld and transferred him from Atascadero State Hospital to SLO County Jail for allegedly assaulting a hospital psychiatrist.


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19 Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    We need a cure for mental illness. That is where our research should be heading. Mental illness has an organic origin that is manifested through a bio-chemical imbalance in the brain. We can fix this if we
    prioritize our research needs. The medications help to an extent but are for the most part unreliable even when they are taken as prescribed.. We have only begun to scratch the surface of curing this malady. Has anyone considered the cost of managing people with mental illness, it’s astronomical on all fronts.

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • oto says:

      For once, a humane perspective on a universal delemma, Cindy! Your question, “Has anyone considered the cost of managing people with mental illness…” deserves an answer at a County Board of Supervisor’s meeting after the question is placed as an item on the agenda. Once that happens, Public Health Administrator Jeff Hamm is a likely and knowledgeable candidate to answer your question. Not only does he admit some classes in economics, but he has spent many years at the County, in a variety of administrative jobs.

      In light of the deaths which have occurred in Sheriff’s custody over the last 12 years; and the attacks on both inmates and employees at Atascadero State Hospital, we need to crunch the numbers and find the causes. We need to hold psychiatric staff accountable when they knowingly and intentionally placed a violent male inmate with a non-violent female patient in a cage that was literally the size of an Animal Services cell for dogs. For these questions to be answered, it is time for us to dust off our thinking caps, make a well planned, 3 min. speech to present to the Board of Supervisors and demand action and answers.

      This is your call to OCCUPY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CHAMBERS BEGINNING TUESDAY, JANUARY 17TH (Martin Luther King Day) AND DEMAND THAT THIS ISSUE BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA AS AN ITEM FOR EXTENDED DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS BY STAFF.

      IF THE CHAMBERS ARE CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAY, SO MUCH THE BETTER TO MEET OUTSIDE, PREPARE YOUR SUGGESTIONS AND SOLUTIONS AND DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH PEOPLE INTERESTED IN RESPONSIBLE CHANGE.

      My plan is to do some research and write up a brief outline about what I want my Supervisor to do, and what I believe the County and State CAN DO to change the ongoing, long-standing problems at the State Hospital and at the County Mental Health Facilities in a wing of the old General Hospital. Be brave. Really know what it takes to speak you mind. Do you think your free speech and right to peaceably assemble is a reality or a myth? Do you believe you have as much of a duty to defend your First Amendment Right at home in front of the Government Center as the soldiers who are fighting for that right on foreign soil? If you do, remember:

      OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ARE LIKE A MUSCLE WHICH NEEDS TO BE EXERCISED REGULARLY TO STAY HEALTHY AND STRONG.

      USE IT OR LOSE IT!

      BRING PAD, PEN, CELL PHONE, DRINKING WATER AND A LUNCH! SEE YOU THERE.
      OTO

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Vagabond says:

    Atica Atica!

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Turn off your pop-up blocker, then try it.

      (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      I don’t think we can un-ring the bell now. The U.S. has committed itself to taking the Israeli police approach to controlling American citizens. Max Blumenthal wrote an article about it. There are many, many more on the web–take your pick.

      Investigative Report / December 2, 2011
      Max Blumenthal: How Israeli Occupation Forces Trained U.S. Police For Coordinated Crackdown On “Occupy” Protests
      http://tinyurl.com/85g3x79

      The Israelification of America’s security apparatus, recently unleashed in full force against the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has taken place at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed. The phenomenon has been documented in bits and pieces, through occasional news reports that typically highlight Israel’s national security prowess without examining the problematic nature of working with a country accused of grave human rights abuses. But it has never been the subject of a national discussion. And collaboration between American and Israeli cops is just the tip of the iceberg.
      Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police Department’s disclosure that it deployed “counter-terror” measures against Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park is just the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy movement.

      ———————-

      The “Urban Shield” protocol was used against the Occupy protestors.

      Urban Shield (U.S. trains with Israeli, Bahrain, Jordanian police teams)
      http://www.urbanshield.org/index.php/about/teams

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
      • oto says:

        MaryMalone,
        I clicked the link you provided to read the article, but your link just took me to a bunch of other links, but no article.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • Cindy says:

      Dumb article, fire’s are predictable, kids with a gun who refuse to take LE direction are not.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. The Gimlet Eye says:

    “a transient”???

    You mean a “vagrant”!!!

    (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
    • smartmouth says:

      More like:

      flot·sam
         /ˈflɒtsəm/ Show Spelled[flot-suhm] Show IPA
      noun
      1.
      the part of the wreckage of a ship and its cargo found floating on the water.

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        Yeah, and the ship is the U.S.S. America.

        Unfortunately, some of the “flotsam” includes entire families, who never, EVER thought they would be living on the street or in their cars.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      I think it is one of the worst human reflexes….when tragedy occurs to another human, often a human’s first response is to somehow isolate something about the victim that makes them wrong or more likely to be victimized. It makes them feel better if they can believe something was wrong with the victim, because they can then believe the same thing would never happen to them.

      An article in the LATimes last week indicated HUNDREDS of folks in the LACounty Jail were wrongly jailed–mistaken identity, clerical mistake, whatever.

      You could very well end up in jail because of a clerical mistake. It happens a lot more than we realize. And once you are in jail, you are the victim, I don’t care what socioeconomic level you come from, or even if you are guilty or innocent.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  4. R.Hodin says:

    Sad way to go.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  5. centralcoastcoyote says:

    2 down many to go!

    (9) 25 Total Votes - 17 up - 8 down
    • zaphod says:

      Dachau or bust

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        I know what you mean, that was pretty pathetic.

        My condolences go out to families involved.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
  6. danika says:

    These days, officials can be involved in that “foul play” they don’t suspect.

    (-20) 26 Total Votes - 3 up - 23 down
    • ds_gray says:

      Don’t think these 2 incidents were foul play. I heard them happen in real-time on the county sheriff and EMS frequencies.

      I don’t think they’d call in other county agencies, try CPR and all that if the end goal was to kill them outright. Too much paperwork.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.