Atmore men attempt suicide in county jail
Published 11:31 am Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Two Atmore men apparently tried to hang themselves in the Escambia County jail over the weekend.
According to Sheriff Tim Hawsey, Collis McCaster and Timothy Flowers were transported to D.W. McMillan Hospital for treatment and returned to the jail.
About 11:57 p.m., Friday, McCaster was discovered by correctional officers as he was attempting to hang himself. He had been placed in the holding area after being involved in a disturbance with another inmate in the general population unit.
On a routine cell check, Correctional Sergeant Donna Fillmore and Officer Jeremy Douglas discovered McCaster with one end of a sheet tied around his neck and the other around electrical wiring he had pulled down from the ceiling of the egress assembly area.
Hawsey said it appeared that McCaster stood up on a bench that is bolted to the floors and somehow opened a bolted access panel that housed the wiring conduit. He tied his sheet to the wiring, stepped off the bench and suspended himself.
Sgt. Fillmore and Officer Douglas quickly cut McCaster down after finding him hanging. Although he was breathing on his own, officers immediately called an ambulance. EMTs found McCaster's blood pressure and oxygen levels normal, but he was still transported to McMillan Hospital for further evaluation.
After being checked in the emergency room, McCaster was returned to the jail around 2:05 a.m. and placed in an observation cell.
McCaster, 27, is charged with receiving stolen property and attempted burglary.
Sheriff's Investigator Larry Smith was called in to conduct a complete investigation into the incident.
The second suicide attempt occurred the next day. At about 10:56 a.m., Saturday, Flowers tied his bed sheet to a roll-up fire damper in the multi-purpose area where he was housed and jumped off the bunk, attempting to hang himself.
Dispatcher Linda Gibson saw Flowers and immediately called Correctional Officer Carolyn Cook and Investigator Smith who was investigating the McCaster case from the night before. With the help of other inmates, officers quickly cut him down.
Flowers was breathing on his own, but an ambulance was called. After being checked in the emergency room at McMillan Hospital, Flowers was returned to the jail.
Flowers, 17, is charged with domestic violence third degree and is being held for Baldwin County.
Correctional officers are constantly trained in suicide prevention and what to do when an inmate does attempt to hang himself, Hawsey said. Usually the inmate does not get to the point of actually tying something around his neck and being suspended. Hawsey added that it is even more unusual to have two attempts within a matter of hours.