SANTA ANA – An Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigation has concluded that a man in custody at the Orange County Jail died as a result of landing on his head after falling from the second floor and found no criminal culpability on the part of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Paul Michael Dewey, 54, severely injured himself about 3:30 p.m. Oct. 30 last year while attempting to commit suicide at the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana.
Anaheim officers arrested Dewey on Oct. 27, booking him on suspicion of drug possession for sale and a parole violation, authorities said. According to Orange County Superior Court records, Dewey pleaded not guilty to the charges Oct. 28.
The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for investigating custodial deaths.
According to the office’s report, Dewey was reportedly alone in a dayroom area when he attempted suicide. Inmates reportedly saw Dewey exiting the shower wearing only his boxer shorts and with a braided bed sheet tied around his neck. Dewey then tied the other end of the rope to the safety rail on the second level. Several inmates saw what Dewey was doing and started yelling, “Don’t do it, don’t do it,” and activated their in-cell emergency buttons, the report says.
Before a deputy could get to him, Dewey jumped off the second floor, according to the report. The sheet ripped, causing Dewey to land hard on his head on the concrete floor, the report says.
Paramedics took Dewey to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, where he died Nov. 7 from his injuries.
By DENISSE SALAZAR/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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