Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr.
Alice Echo-News Journal
Thirteen minutes. That was all the time officials said it took for Mark Anthony Gonzalez, 18, to decide that attempting suicide might be a smart way to get out of the Jim Wells County Jail.
Gonzalez's three holding cell associates called out to Correctional Officer Lt. Noel Benavides for help, as Gonzalez hung from the cell by his socks.
During his booking, Jail Administrator Maj. Richard Miller said Gonzalez answered "yes" to having a psychiatric disorder, but "no" to having thoughts about suicide, or ever having attempted to commit suicide in the past.
He was given a phone call and then taken to Holding Cell "A" toward the back of the older portion of the jail, where inmates wait to be magistrated by a Justice of the Peace.
JWC officers arrested Gonzalez at 10:57 a.m. at the Adult Probation office for a motion to revoke.
According to jail records, it took Capt. Sandra Salas 17 seconds to grab the cutters, run down the hall and make her way into the holding cell with Maj. Miller after being alerted to the situation.
Lt. Benavides and Gonzalez's fellow inmate helped prop Gonzalez up to alleviate the pressure on his neck.
"At no time was he discolored," Miller said. "The first thing he did after we cut him down was take a deep breath. He never passed out."
Jail nurse Yvette Loera checked his vitals, including his blood pressure and breathing. EMS arrived at the jail and transported Gonzalez to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Alice.
Doctors medically cleared him by 3 p.m., and Gonzalez stayed an additional two hours to be evaluated by MHMR, who also cleared him.
He asked transport officer Alma Rodriguez if he was going home after the hospital, officials said.
"No," she said she replied. "You're going to jail."