Friday, January 27, 2017

Two El Paso County jail inmates die in last two days

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 5:26 PM

click to enlarge The county's Criminal Justice Center. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The county's Criminal Justice Center.
Two inmates from El Paso County's Criminal Justice Center have died in the last two days.

Frank Reynolds, 57, who had been at the jail before being taken to Memorial Hospital, died at the hospital on Thursday.

Damian Romero, 68, died in the jail on Friday, which is today.

The El Paso County Coroner's Office has not released causes of death, noting that toxicology and other testing is pending before the autopsy reports are completed.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jackie Kirby says Reynolds had been transported to Memorial after inmates reported he was unresponsive and jail personnel found him to have a pulse. He later died at the hospital. Reynolds was booked into jail on Jan. 19 on charges of possession of a weapon by a previous offender, child abuse, third-degree assault and harassment. Manitou Springs Police Department was the arresting agency.

Romero had been at Memorial for seven to eight days when he was transported back to the jail on Friday. "About two miles from CJC, the deputy noticed he was having issues," Kirby says. He radioed ahead, and sheriff's personnel met him in the sally port, the area where inmates are taken in and out of the jail, where life-saving efforts failed.

Romero, who booked into the jail on Aug. 12, 2016, faced charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, aggravated incest and pattern of abuse. Colorado Springs Police Department was the arresting agency.

Kirby said the jail's investigative team is looking into the Romero death because it occurred on jail property. She wasn't sure whether Reynolds' death, which occurred at the hospital, would be similarly investigated.

It's unclear how long it's been since an inmate died at the jail or at a hospital after being in the jail. But according to past news releases, Ricardo Rafel Grimaldo, 20, died Nov. 4, 2010, at Memorial after being rushed there after he was observed choking by fellow inmates. The family filed a lawsuit but it was dismissed in 2012 after the county demonstrated that deputies responded immediately upon being notified of Grimaldo's medical problem.

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