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Second Cuyahoga County Jail inmate dies, fourth in two months

August 30, 2018

Second Cuyahoga County Jail inmate dies, fourth in two months

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A second Cuyahoga County Jail inmate died Thursday, making it the second person in two days and the fourth in two months.

The four deaths mark the most inmate deaths in one year at the county jail in at least the last decade, according to Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner records. There has never been more than two inmate deaths in one year at the jail since 2009.

Gregory Fox, 36, died Thursday at MetroHealth, two days after he was taken to the hospital from the jail.

Fox is the second inmate to die after being found in a cell on Tuesday. Joseph Arquillo, 47, of Cleveland, also died after spending about nine hours in the jail on Tuesday.

Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said both deaths are under internal investigation. She would not release information regarding the circumstances surrounding either death.

Arquillo was found unconscious in his jail cell about 1 p.m. Tuesday. He was booked into the jail about 3 a.m. on a probation violating stemming from convictions in two recent cases. Madigan said that jail staff gave Arquillo an initial medical pre-screening before he was taken to his cell. He died at the Cleveland Clinic.

Arquillo, a military veteran who went through the court’s Veteran’s Court, was convicted in two 2017 cases for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and for passing bad checks.

He has a history of felony convictions dating back to 1995, mostly for identity fraud and for writing bad checks, burglary or theft.

Fox was found unconscious in his cell about 4 p.m. Tuesday. He was taken to MetroHealth, but died on Thursday, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

Madigan did not provide any information regarding the circumstances of Fox’s death.

Fox was jailed on $125,000 bond in two cases— one in which he was accused of repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl during an 18-month span in North Royalton and for repeatedly calling and harassing the girl in an attempt to get her to drop charges against him.

Fox, in a call from jail to the girl, said there was “probably no way I am going to survive.” He told the girl: “You’ve made sure I will die” and asked the girl to say in court that she lied about accusing him of rape.

He had pleaded not guilty to the rape charges and had not yet been arraigned on charges of intimidation of a crime victim.

Two inmates died in one week earlier in the summer. In one case, a 32-year-old man died June 27 of an accidental drug overdose, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. Esteben Parra swallowed a balloon full of suspected drugs, including methamphetamine, according to the medical examiner.

The other, 51-year-old Larry Johnson, hanged himself June 22 inside his jail cell, according to medical examiner records.

The county jail began accepting inmates arrested in Cleveland in April. Jail officials have complained in public hearings in front of Cuyahoga County Council that a shortage of nurses have led to unsafe conditions in the jail.

Ten inmates have died at the jail since the beginning of 2009, including one last year.

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