Rock County Jail inmate death being investigated

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Frank Schultz
August 18, 2015

JANESVILLE—A Rock County Jail inmate who complained of chest pains and trouble breathing died early Tuesday morning at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville.

Dante Tyreese Wilson, 39, Beloit, was pronounced dead at 1:35 a.m. at the hospital, after being taken there from the jail, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Jail Commander Erik Chellevold said Wilson alerted jail staff at 11:44 p.m. Monday during a security check.

Wilson asked to see the nurse, saying he had chest pains and difficulty breathing, Chellevold said.

Wilson was taken to the jail's medical unit, where he received treatment immediately, Chellevold said.

The medical unit's nurse consulted with a doctor by phone, and they decided on a course of treatment, Chellevold said.

Chellevold said he would not disclose what procedures were employed because of federal law governing the privacy of medical information.

Advanced Correctional Healthcare, a contractor, employs the nurse and the on-call doctor, Chellevold said.

Inmates in the medical unit are in cells with windows and cameras so they can be observed, Chellevold said.

A jail officer and the nurse work in the medical unit, checking on inmates periodically but not observing them every second, Chellevold said.

The medical unit officer noticed at 12:37 a.m. that Wilson was having difficulty breathing, Chellevold said. He alerted the nurse, and an ambulance was called.

Janesville Fire Department records show the ambulance call was at 12:41 a.m., 57 minutes after Wilson first complained of chest pains and difficulty breathing.

“The jail nurse and correctional staff quickly arrived to begin medical assessment of this inmate and began performing lifesaving measures while awaiting the arrival of Janesville Fire Department paramedics,” the news release states.

The ambulance arrived at 12:45 a.m., Chellevold said.

Paramedics continued medical treatment, and the ambulance carrying Wilson left the jail at 1:19 a.m., Chellevold said.

An autopsy was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Madison. Chellevold said he did not know when information from the autopsy would be made public.

The county medical examiner's department and sheriff's detectives are investigating the death, and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Office of Detention Facilities will review the incident, according to the news release.

Wilson had been at the jail since Aug. 12 after being taken into custody on suspicion of probation violation and on body attachments for nonpayment of child support, Chellevold said.

Chellevold said jail staff had no indications of any medical problem from Aug. 12 until Wilson asked to see the nurse Monday night.

The jail's last death was in 2009, when an inmate hanged himself, Chellevold said.

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