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ICE detainee dies after being held at the McHenry County Jail, authorities say

File Photo | McHenry County Jail

A Mexican man being held in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the McHenry County Jail in Woodstock died Tuesday at an area hospital, federal authorities said.

Roberto Rodriguez-Espinoza, 37, was pronounced dead by medical staff at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, according to ICE officials.

The attending physicians at the hospital identified Rodriguez-Espinoza’s preliminary cause of death as a subdural hematoma, which is usually associated with a traumatic brain injury.

ICE encountered Rodriguez-Espinoza, a documented Latin Kings gang member, on September 3 in Chicago and placed him into custody at the McHenry County Jail. Authorities said he previously was convicted of burglary in 2016 and theft in 2008.

Rodriguez-Espinoza admitted to daily consumption of alcohol during his intake screening.

On September 7, jail staff observed Rodriguez-Espinoza acting confused and the jail’s physician ordered Rodriguez-Espinoza to be transported to Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital for further evaluation because of his confusion and history of alcohol consumption.

The following day, the hospital transferred him by ambulance to Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital where he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage. He was then transferred to Central DuPage Hospital for a neurosurgery consult.

Rodriguez-Espinoza ‘failed to respond’ during a neurological exam performed at Central DuPage and the attending neurosurgeon said that the man was unlikely to survive surgery.

ICE contacted the Mexican Consulate to inform them of Rodriguez-Espinoza’s medical status and asked them to notify his next of kin. Mexican Consular officials said that Rodriguez-Espinoza had no known family members to contact.

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases. Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a small fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole,” ICE said in a press release.

Comprehensive medical care is provided to all individuals in ICE custody and that detainees also have access to dental care and 24-hour emergency care, ICE said.

“Pursuant to its commitment to the welfare of those in the agency’s custody, ICE spends more than $260 million annually on the spectrum of healthcare services provided to detainees.”


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