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Lake County jail officers save second inmate from committing suicide by hanging in less than a month

Lake County Corrections Officers John Venetsanakos (left) and George Gotsis (right)
Lake County Corrections Officers John Venetsanakos (left) and George Gotsis (right)

Two Lake County Jail corrections officers helped stop an attempted suicide in the jail, sheriff’s officials said.

On July 31 at around 3:15 p.m. Lake County Corrections Officers George Gotsis and John Venetsanakos saved the life of an inmate attempting suicide in his jail cell.

Officers Gotsis and Venetsanakos were conducting rounds in the Administrative Segregation Unit (Maximum Security) of the Lake County Jail when they discovered a 39-year-old inmate in his jail cell attempting suicide by hanging using a tee-shirt, Lake County Sheriff’s Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.

Covelli said that Officers Gotsis and Venetsanakos immediately entered the inmate’s jail cell and used a cutting tool to remove the shirt from the inmate’s neck.

Sheriff’s officials said that after the shirt was removed the inmate began breathing and regained consciousness.

Lake County Jail medical personnel responded and maintained initial care of the inmate where he was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and released back into the custody of correctional staff. A suicide prevention protocol was initiated for the inmate upon his return, Covelli said.

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Sheriff Mark Curran said, “This is the second time in less than a month where our corrections officers prevented a suicide.”

“This inmate was potentially moments away from losing his life, but Officers Gotsis and Venetsanakos acted heroically and stopped a suicide. I am very proud of their work and the daily dedication of our correctional staff,” Curran said.

The first of the two attempted suicides at the Lake County Jail this past month happened on July 11 when Officers Duarte and Solomon were conducting rounds in the Administrative Segregation Unit (Maximum Security) of the jail when they discovered an 18-year-old inmate in his jail cell attempting suicide by hanging. He had used a bedsheet to try to hang himself. The inmate was uninjured due to the quick response from the officers.


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