Fourth SLO County Jail inmate dies
January 11, 2015
By KAREN VELIE
A 63-year-old Morro Bay man died shortly after collapsing at the San Luis Obispo County Jail early Sunday morning. He is the fourth man to die while incarcerated in the county jail in less than 12 months.
David Osborn was arrested for drunk in public on Saturday shortly before 1 p.m. He was released four hours later and then rearrested at 8:38 p.m., again for drunk in public.
He would be pronounced dead nine hours later.
During his time in custody, Osborn regularly complained that his blood sugar was off and that he needed medical care.
As is common in arrests where there are medical concerns, Morro Bay Police officers transported Osborn to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for a medical clearance. He was cleared and booked into the jail on Sunday at 12:11 a.m.
During his time in the intake area, a frigid group of cells with glass doors and concrete benches, he complained multiple times that he was in distress.
At 2:30 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., he was seen by jail medical staff, said Tony Cipolla, the sheriff’s department public information officer, in a press release
At 8:49 a.m., Osborn was allowed to leave the intake cell and he walked to the jail medical office and sat on a concrete bench to await medical care. He then collapsed in front of his jailers who used an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to revive the Morro Bay man.
At 9:57 a.m., Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center personnel pronounced Osborn dead.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Coroner is investigating the manner and cause of Osborn’s death.
Osborn is the fourth inmate to die while incarcerated in the men’s jail in less than 12 months.
On Jan. 23, Josey Meche, 28, died from a drug overdose after flailing on a concrete cell floor for more than 20 minutes, according to the coroner’s report. Until he stopped moving, deputies offered him no assistance.
In March, Rudy Joseph Silva, 35, was discovered unconscious in his cell. He was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he died of influenza and a staphylococcus infection four days later. Jail mates claim he was sick for several days with coughing fits, but did not receive the medical care he pleaded for until he was no longer conscious.
On May 30, Timothy Richard Janowicz, 29, was found dead in his cell. Several weeks later, the sheriff’s department sent out a press release saying that Janowicz died of a heroin overdose.
On Dec. 18, following more than a half dozen records requests, the sheriff’s department released both the autopsy and coroner’s report which describe bruises, gashes and multiple needle marks on Janowicz’ body. In addition, the coroners report says that jail staff had not seen Janowicz for 10 hours even though jail policy is to enter group cells every 30 minutes.
As a result, the inmate death rate at the men’s jail, with a population this summer of 551 prisoners, is more than three times the national average. During 2014, three men died in the men’s jail or .54 percent of inmates, while the nation average is .13 percent, according to Federal Bureau of Justice statistics data.
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