Jail inmate tried to hang himself with a towel, Sheriff's Department says

A San Luis Obispo County correctional officer stopped a man from trying to hang himself with a towel at the County Jail on Thursday morning, the Sheriff’s Department reported today.

The department did not identify the 44-year-old man, or say why he tried to hang himself.

He was booked July 13 by the Grover Beach Police Department on a contempt of court charge and was being held on $15,000 bail. He had undergone an initial mental health screening during his intake.

The officer, whose identity also was withheld, had just checked the older cell area when he found the inmate using a towel to hang himself at 10:55 a.m.

He called in a jail response team made up of medical and custody personnel. They removed the man from the cell, and took him to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, where he was treated. He is back in custody at County Jail.

"This is the second suicide attempt this year (during which) a correctional officer has taken direct action to save an inmate's life," said Correctional Operations Lt. Michelle Cole.

"Correctional officers are trained to not only vary their routine, but also in emergency procedures and team response in order to increase our chances of preventing inmate injury," Cole said.