A parolee with a long history of mental health issues hung himself in a special unit for mentally ill inmates in a Rikers Island jail, the Village Voice has learned.
Horsone Moore, 35, of Brooklyn, was found dead at the Anna M. Kross Correctional Facility less than 48 hours after entering the jail system. He was arrested October 11 for violating his parole.
In 2009, Moore was convicted of assault and weapons possession in Queens and sentenced to five years in state prison. He was released in October 2010.
The details around Moore’s suicide were still sketchy yesterday, but corrections sources told the Voice that Moore was dead for some time before he was discovered. That assertion was disputed by a Correction Department official.
DOC Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Eldin Villafane said the circumstances surrounding Moore’s death are under investigation. “This department takes seriously the death of a person in custody,” he said. “Where the investigation identifies opportunities to improve, we will adopt those measures to prevent a re-occurrence. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Moore.”
In 2004, Moore barricaded himself and his girlfriend in their Brooklyn apartment, beat her with a baseball bat, flipped on the gas, and said he would light a match, before police burst in and disarmed him.
Responding police officers found Moore holding a machete to his neck and threatening to kill himself. Officers used a Taser to subdue him. The couple had a long history of domestic squabbles.
The suicide is one of a series of recent incidents that have afflicted AMKC. Just Thursday, a captain and five officers sustained minor injuries subduing an inmate conflict. Last week, sources tell the Voice, a major fight between black and Hispanic gangs led to a number of injuries.
The issue surrounding jail suicides is always one of supervision: Was the inmate being properly observed? The answer to that question in the Moore case remains unclear, but, in the past, the DOC has been criticized for failure to properly monitor at-risk inmates.
The last recorded suicide in AMKC took place in October 2012, when an inmate killed himself while being processed out to go to court. In June 2012, accused sex offender Jamal Polo, 24, hung himself at the George Motchan Detention Center. A judge had actually ordered Polo to be housed in protective custody because of his risk for suicide.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 18, 2013