PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Alone and unresponsive.
That’s how guards at the Allegheny County Jail found a local man and his death is raising questions from prison advocates and members of the Jail Oversight Board.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Department Reports 1,493 New Cases, 15 Additional Deaths
The inmate arrived at the jail just days before his death.
55-Year-old Martin Bucek arrived at the Allegheny County Jail in late June after a judge set his bail on June 24.
However, it was just a week later – on July 3 – when guards found him unresponsive in his cell.
Allegheny County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam is the only formerly incarcerated member of the Jail Oversight Board and says she has concerns.
“This isn’t the first time that there has been a loss of life in the jail, and this isn’t the first time that the jail has failed to properly notify the members of the jail oversight board about the situation,” Hallam said.
A county spokeswoman, however, says the jail did follow protocol, notifying the board’s president, Judge Kimberly Clark about Bucek’s death.
According to the medical examiner, Bucek died at Mercy Hospital but Hallam says she received this email from Judge Clark, after she started asking questions – saying “both staff and paramedics performed CPR without success.”READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 2-Day Total Of 268 New Cases, 3 Additional Deaths
“I’m constantly hearing new things about what’s going on in the jail from people who are incarcerated there, from staff members who work there, from members of the media who are getting information that the board itself isn’t even receiving,” Hallam said.
Bucek found himself in jail because of an incident inside of St. Clair Hospital.
He allegedly grabbed a mental health nurse from behind, trying to grab her throat.
That incident caused him to face charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
Attorney Jaclyn Kurin hopes to soon learn more.
“We have some really important issues that need to be addressed,” she said. “First, was Mr. Bucek confined at the ACJ for behavior related to a mental health condition? Why did he die? Was it from a lack of mental health care, was it due to his conditions of confinement?”
A county spokesperson says she cannot release more information or say where Bucek’s cell was located inside the jail.MORE NEWS: 19-Year-Old Woman Critically Injured In Hit-And-Run Crash
Meanwhile, the Allegheny County Police will investigate and wait for a final report from the medical examiner.