LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Dedication to his job and intuition is what Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley credits to a deputy jailer who rescued an inmate during an attempted suicide last week.
Around 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day, Sgt. Matthew Deaton did an unscheduled check of a cell block. Mosley said deputy jailers are required to conduct and document checks every hour, although he encourages employees to do random, unscheduled checks throughout their shift. Deaton acted on that instruction and found a 25-year-old male hanging from his cell bunk post. The inmate, whose name is not being released, had apparently tied a blanket to the bed post and around his neck in a suicide attempt.
Deaton said the man was unresponsive and was not breathing.
“He had no pulse and his face was swollen,” Deaton said. “He had already changed color — he had a bluish-purplish color.”
Deaton immediately began CPR and, after doing some chest compressions, the inmate took a deep breath and began breathing once more.
The inmate reportedly has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and depression. With the jail population being the lowest in several months, the inmate was in a two-person cell but did not have another inmate in the cell with him at the time of the incident. Mosley explained the cell block where the incident occurred has six, two-man cells with all of those sharing a “commons” area. With no one in the cell with him, the inmate had full reign to attempt taking his own life without being seen by others.
“The incidents of suicide and attempted suicide are greater during the holidays, and jail is no exception,” Mosley said. “Due to the intuition of Sgt. Deaton, this man is alive today.
“Though this young man may not realize it right now, he owes his life to the heroic efforts of Sgt. Matthew Deaton,” Mosley added. “Had it not been for his ability to sense the need to check this particular group of cells prior to the scheduled routine inspection, this young man would have died.”