Bernard Scott, 44, was being held in the Pine Lawn jail near St. Louis, Missouri, last September for minor traffic violations when he reportedly began complaining of abdominal pain and bleeding.
According to a report by a paramedic from Northeast Fire Protection District, medical workers were called to the jail after Scott reported feeling ill. A police officer reportedly told them that he had signed off on Scott being transported to the hospital, but a police supervisor denied the release, St. Louis Dispatch reported. Paramedics again insisted that Scott be taken to an emergency room, but their request was denied.
Just 14 minutes later another ambulance was called because Scott was found stiff and unconscious. According to an EMT’s report released by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Scott was aggressive, difficult to pin down, and appeared to have possible brain damage.
Police claimed Scott was found hanging by his neck from a shoelace tied to his cell door five minutes before the second ambulance was called. Scott was in a coma for 11 days and hospitalized for three weeks but he survived. He claims he has no recollection of attempting to commit suicide and doesn’t buy the story told by police.
“Why would I hang myself?” he asked in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I was in on traffic tickets.”
Scott’s unpaid tickets from 2004 and 2005 were for displaying an expired insurance card, driving with a suspended license, violating a stop sign and a red signal, and failing to stop for an emergency vehicle. He was in jail at the time because he couldn't afford the $360 bail.
Scott is still incarcerated due to a violation probation in an unrelated theft case.
Photo Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, WikiCommons