An inmate at the Erie County Detention Center who collapsed over the weekend has been declared brain dead and will be taken off life support after his 30th birthday on Tuesday, his mother said.
“I’m not ready to let him go until Tuesday,” Cheektowaga’s Christine Riordan said of her son, Sean C. Riordan.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Zylka said the U.S. Department of Justice and the state’s commission of corrections have been notified. The commission investigates deaths in New York City jails, jails and police stations, and the DOJ has maintained an interest in Erie County jails since filing a lawsuit seeking terms. more human years ago.
Christine Riordan said she has yet to receive the full picture of what happened. She said sheriff’s office staff said her son collapsed while in jail, went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated, but his heart stopped again at Buffalo General Medical Center.
However, Christine Riordan said she found bruises on her son’s throat, arms and legs and a cut eyelid over a swollen right eye. A family friend shared a photo of Riordan’s severed and swollen eyelid with The Buffalo News. His face and eyes appear normal in a booking photo taken a few days earlier.
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Christine Riordan said a nurse at Buffalo General told her on Wednesday night that there was no brain activity and her son’s condition would not change – meaning he is legally dead in under New York law. But before doctors end life support, she wants to observe her son’s birthday by his bedside in the intensive care unit.
Christine Riordan said a detective told her her son had alcohol in his system. However, Tracie Riordan, Sean’s sister, said she was told by a doctor that the blood alcohol level was 0.04, a level low enough to legally operate a motor vehicle in New York. His mother and sister acknowledged that drugs could be found in prisons, but said Sean Riordan hated alcohol and never drank.
He did, however, have a heroin addiction for many years, which led to further arrests. “It’s been a handful,” Christine Riordan said. While in police custody in 2012, he jumped over a railing on the second floor of Grand Island City Court, where he was arraigned for assault, the sheriff’s office said at the time.
A family friend, Joseph Tomasello, said Sean Riordan called him on June 1 to tell him he was arrested by Buffalo police. Court records show he was cited for aggravated operation without a license, among other charges. Zylka, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said Riordan was detained because he was named in arrest warrants. Records show he was booked into the detention center on June 2.
Under former Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, an inmate at the downtown Buffalo Detention Center or the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden died, on average, every six months. Thirty-two inmates have died, in homicides, suicides and natural causes, in Howard’s roughly 16 years as sheriff.
Riordan will be the first known Erie County inmate to die since John C. Garcia, Howard’s favorite successor, became sheriff nearly six months ago.