A Huron County jail inmate was hospitalized Friday after climbing and jumping from a mezzanine in the facility.
Daniel Legg, 23, of Norwalk, was serving time for criminal damaging and assault. “The investigation is just getting started,” Maj. Mike Cooksey said, Huron County Sheriff’s Office jail administrator. “It looks like he was distraught over breaking up with his girlfriend,” he said.
Legg was in one of the jail’s seven pods near evening lockdown time Friday, just after 9 p.m., when inmates are confined to their cells for the night. He went into his first floor cell, then came back out, ran up the stairs and climbed over the side of a fence to jump.
He fell about 26 to 28 feet and landed feet first, Cooksey said, injuring his feet severely enough he required surgery Saturday.
Nearby correctional officers were alerted to the injury when another inmate yelled for help. North Central EMS transported Legg to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for treatment, from which he was flown to University of Toledo Medical Center.
He remained in Huron County custody until Saturday, after a judge approved he be released and required to appear before the court after he is released from the hospital to serve the rest of his jail sentence, about a month total.
Legg isn’t the first inmate to jump off the second tier in the cell areas.
A few weeks ago, another inmate also jumped and was injured, requiring hospitalization, Cooksey said.
Fencing was put up after the first incident to keep it from happening again, and Cooksey contacted a contractor to figure out how to prevent any other such incidents from happening.
“We’re in the midst of getting that settled to get it done,” he said Saturday.
After speaking with Sheriff Dane Howard about the second jumper, the sheriff’s office has instituted a new policy that will require inmates to stay in their cells unless two corrections officers are present in the pod.
Prior to the change, officers could monitor all seven pods from video feeds at a central control room, as well as see directly into each one.
But for safety, correctional officers will now rotate between the pods to let the inmates out of their cells for at least an hour a day, until the issue can be addressed.
“It’s going to cost us quite a bit of overtime,” Cooksey said. “We’re going to have to call in additional officers.”
Cooksey will be consulting with prosecutors about whether both of the inmates who jumped could be criminally charged for the incidents.