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Cops & Courts

Medina County sheriff: Man hanged self in jail

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MEDINA — A 31-year-old Norton man hung himself in Medina County Jail on Monday.

Brian Bradley-Smith hung himself from his bunk bed using a towel, Medina County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ken Baca said.

He was found by a jail deputy at about 1 a.m. Monday.

“They get him down and start doing CPR,” Baca said. “He was transported to the hospital. He was taken to Cleveland Clinic (Medina Hospital and then by helicopter to downtown Cleveland). He expired about 5 or 5:30 (p.m. Monday).

“A complete investigation has to be done, obviously. The insurance company requires it. The Bureau of Adult Detention requires it because it oversees all the county jails in the state.”

He said the county jail’s policy also calls for it to have an investigation after an in-custody death.

Baca said watch officers are required to check on inmates in their cells every 59 minutes. If warranted, some more dangerous inmates are checked more frequently.

The watch officer had checked on Bradley-Smith 29 minutes prior, Baca said.

“Those are bookkeeping things,” he said. “They are logged when you do them.”

Baca said Bradley-Smith was being held on felony drug charges.

“He was stopped in Norton and we went over and got him June 26,” he said. “He went through the whole screening process. We held the indictments. He had other outstanding warrants.

“He was only in jail (four) days — Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Baca said there had been no problems with Bradley-Smith in the short time he was incarcerated.

The chief deputy said Bradley-Smith shared a room with another man, who said he didn’t notice anything unusual that night.

Since the jail opened in 1996, Baca said there have been three suicides, including a woman around 2010. The last one came in November or December 2012, just before Sheriff Tom Miller took office.

“We’ve only had a couple since the jail has opened,” Baca said. “There have been several attempts, but we’ve always been able to intervene and have a more positive outcome.”

He said there have been numerous inmates pass away from natural causes, “but as far as suicides go, we’ve been fortunate.”

Baca credits Alternative Paths, which handles the jail’s mental health services.

“We have a good mental health unit that’s here,” he said. “They are good about keeping fingers on things. That helps in keeping it down.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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