When the jail refused to take an intoxicated man, PPD Officers dropped him off in the park. An hour later, a report of a dead body comes in.
What can you do to help an at-risk person who has no place to go? That was the problem facing Portsmouth Police Officers last Friday.
Over the weekend, we shared a scanner call where an obviously frustrated officer complained that the Scioto County Jail refused to accept a man PPD believed needed to be confined for his own safety.
We did some digging. Now, we can bring you the full story. When you read it, you’ll understand why that officer was upset.
Dead Body in the Park
Just before 6 pm on Friday, police were flagged down by a passerby who reported a dead body in the park by the US Grant Bridge.
Police were very familiar with the man. They’ve dealt with him several times. In fact, on that day, officers encountered him twice in just two hours.
Under The Influence
The first police encounter with the man happened earlier in the day. Callers reported an intoxicated man on Findlay Street.
- Police spoke with him and they were afraid for his safety. He was obviously under the influence and admitted he’d taken “benzos.”
- PPD officers wanted to arrest him for disorderly conduct. However, the Scioto County Jail refused to take the man.
- According to the police report the jail offered to get him a copy of the Common Pleas Court order that shows they could not accept the man.
- Officers called Portsmouth Ambulance. Medics attempted to treat the man, but he refused medical help.
Police took him to the station and issued a summons. Officers tried in vain to find a place for the man to go. They were then forced to release him to Martha Burton Park to sober up. Yep, that’s right. Officers had no choice but to dump an intoxicated man in a public park.
He’s Not Breathing
Shortly after the man was released, a woman in the park flagged down a patrol car. She said there was a dead body near the Grant Bridge.
According to the police report, the man was not visibly breathing at the time.
Fortunately, the officer was able to revive the man. An ambulance was called once again. This time the man was taken to SOMC for treatment.
While that solved the problem on that night for that man, it doesn’t address what officers are supposed to do when neither the jail or the hospital accept someone in distress. SCDN team coverage will keep looking into the issue of what happens to people with no place to go.