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SANTA CRUZ — County Sheriff correctional staff saved the life of an inmate who tried to hang himself one day after being arrested for the attempted robbery of two supermarkets near Santa Cruz. The inmate, 22-year-old Antonio Townsend, was found hanging from a bed sheet in the day room of his housing unit.
On Tuesday, February 14th, Townsend was arrested for attempted robbery of the Del Pueblo Markey and the 7-Eleven, respectively. He was assessed by jail medical staff and their mental health unit.
The next day just before noon, a corrections officer found him hanging. He was the only one in the room and had just had a conversation with staff perhaps 20 minutes before being discovered.
Officers were able to remove the sheet that was tied around his neck and perform CPR. Emergency medical responders quickly arrived. Townsend regained his pulse and began breathing on his own. He was then airlifted to a trauma center in San Jose.
Detectives responded and crime scene investigators were called, which is standard protocol in incidents such as this. At this time, there is no evidence of criminal activity or another inmate’s involvement.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart said, “Our staff works tirelessly around the clock to ensure the safety and well-being of those housed in our jail. We are deeply saddened by Mr. Townsend’s condition and will ensure a transparent and thorough investigation into this incident. Our thoughts remain with Mr. Townsend’s family.”
Townsend was released from custody and remains in critical condition at the trauma center in San Jose.