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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
State faults county jail for suicide
Claims former Marine was ‘inadequately’ evaluated by medical provider
Christina Daly/Herald
Correctional officers unsuccessfully tried to revive Bartholomew Ryan on Feb. 24, 2012, after they found him hanging from a bedsheet in his cell.

The New York State Commission of Correction recently released a report on the suicide of Bartholomew Ryan, a 32-year-old East Meadow resident and an Iraq war veteran who hanged himself with a bedsheet in his cell at the Nassau County Correctional Facility in February 2012, less than 24 hours after he was incarcerated.

The state-appointed three-member commission, headed by commissioner Phyllis Harrison-Ross, released a five-page report in which it concluded that Ryan received “inadequate evaluation and treatment by Armor Correctional Health Care Inc.,” the independent medical care provider for the county jail.

Ryan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corp. from 2003 to 2008, was arrested on Feb. 22, 2012, and charged with driving under the influence of drugs. He was remanded to the Nassau Correctional Facility the following day, where he was to remain until his first scheduled court appearance on March 9.

Ryan was screened twice for suicide risk, in accordance with the Suicide Prevention Screening Guidelines, the report stated — once by uniformed correctional booking staff and once by a licensed practical nurse employed by Armor Inc. Because Ryan had a history of psychiatric treatment and had previously been on medication, he was referred to the facility’s mental health services before being housed in the jail’s new-admission health housing, the report continued, where his cell was supervised by an officer who conducted rounds every 15 minutes.

Ryan was then examined again by Armor Inc., this time by a doctor. The assessment, according to the report, was “inadequate.”

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2012, officers discovered Ryan hanging by a bedsheet from the cell bars, according to the report. Two officers, identified only by their initials, reported the emergency on the facility radio, cut Ryan down and, with the help of a third officer and an automated external defibrillator, unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate him.

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