Inmate suffering from mental illness found unresponsive inside Sonoma County Jail cell, then dies

A 30-year-old inmate that a county judge declared mentally incompetent last month died Wednesday night after being found unconscious in his Sonoma County Jail cell.

Nino Bosco was taken to Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital about 10:30 p.m. after he was found unresponsive sometime after being given a bologna and cheese sandwich by deputies, Sgt. Spencer Crum, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said Thursday. Bosco died at the hospital.

“He was a serious mental health inmate with acute mental illness,” Crum said.

Still, Bosco of Santa Rosa was not on constant observation at the county jail, the sheriff’s spokesman said. Four deputies and a sergeant who monitor the jail’s mental health unit checked on Bosco and other inmates in that area every 15 minutes. In addition, medics check those inmates?every 24 hours.

Detectives have not ruled out that Bosco may have tried to take his own life, since about noon Wednesday he had been taken to the same city hospital after ingesting cellophane, pieces of a milk carton and a paper cup. He returned to the jail at 8:24 p.m. and was placed in a padded safety cell near the jail’s booking area.

The exact time when Bosco was given the sandwich and when he was found unconscious are still being investigated, Crum said. Bosco was left alone to eat and then he was found unconscious by deputies who performed CPR on him and administered an automatic external defibrillator, Crum said.

“There were concerns that he would try something again, so that night (Wednesday) we did not give him anything with his sandwich,” Crum said. “No plastic wrapper or paper towel.”

Bosco had been in custody since early June for violating a court order that consisted of a restraining order his family members had obtained against him, Crum said. He was declared mentally incompetent by a county judge on June 7, five days after he was taken into custody. Attempts to reach Bosco’s family members were unsuccessful Thursday.

An autopsy to determine the specific cause of Bosco’s death is being done in Marin County. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation of what occurred at the county jail prior to his death and the circumstances surrounding it.

The last county inmate who died in custody was Michael Medina in January 2018.

You can reach Staff Writer Alexandria Bordas at 707-521-5337. On Twitter @CrossingBordas.

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