TRAVERSE CITY — An inmate’s suicide attempt led him on a trip to the hospital.
Traverse City police Chief Jeff O’Brien said officers responded to Grand Traverse County’s jail at about 11 p.m. Sunday after an inmate took a razor blade to his neck, wrist, forearm and inner thigh. O'Brien said the local man — who turned 33 on Saturday — was found with the self-inflicted wounds in his shower stall.
“I’ve known him for a long, long time,” O’Brien said, declining to identify the inmate by name.
The inmate — jailed on suspicion of home invasion — was interrupted by corrections officers about 7 minutes after he cut himself with a jail-issued razor blade, said Undersheriff Nate Alger. The razors are designed to break down if damaged but the man managed to use small shards to cut himself, he added.
“The majority of inmates that come into our facility have some type of a mental health history,” Alger said. “Accompanying that, they often have dependency issues … We do a very good job of monitoring those inmates and after each attempt, we review them to make sure procedures and policies are followed.”
Alger said the man’s attempted suicide marked the third or fourth since an inmate last killed himself in the county’s jail in July. A Freedom of Information request detailing the exact number of suicides or suicide attempts at the jail within the last several years has not yet been returned.
Officers took the man to Munson Medical Center for treatment before taking him back to the jail on Monday morning. Alger said city police typically respond to suicide attempts at the jail because the facility is located within their direct jurisdiction.