Havre Daily News
A Fort Belknap man who tried to kill himself in a cell at the Hill County Detention Center Saturday was hospitalized after the incident, but the cause of the hospitalization was unrelated to the suicide attempt, Sheriff Greg Szudera said Monday.
Patrick Joseph Buckman Jr., 36, was arrested by Havre police and taken to the jail after officers responded to a call from a Second Street home at 4:13 p.m. Saturday, police documents said. He was arrested on charges of assault, criminal mischief/vandalism, and criminal trespass.
The incident had begun earler in the day at the detention center, where Buckman was picked up by another man after he visited someone at the jail, Havre police Lt. Russ Ostwalt said Monday. On the way to the home of the driver's parents, the driver and Buckman got into an argument, which allegedly escalated into Buckman vandalizing the vehicle, Ostwalt said.
"It was over damage to a radio that was in the guy's car," Ostwalt said. The driver called the police when he "saw the suspect kicking the dash of the car."
According to police reports, Buckman also unlawfully entered the driver's parents' home and the man suffered minor injuries in a physical altercation with Buckman. When officers arrived on the scene, they saw the suspect walking away, Ostwalt said, and apprehended him on the 1600 block on Second Street.
Once at the jail, Szudera said, Buckman was acting "completely unmanageable" by not responding to detention officers' requests, and was put in the facility's "rubber room," a padded cell used to hold volatile inmates. The room is under more frequent surveillance than the regular cells, Szudera said, with officers checking on the inmate through the cell's glass window.
At 6:10 p.m., detention officers saw Buckman attempting to commit suicide with his pants and intervened, resulting in a scuffle and an additional charge against Buckman of assault on a peace or judicial officer, Szudera said.
"He took his pants off and was trying to choke himself with the leg of his pants," Szudera said. "When they tried to take the pants away from him, he assaulted the detention officers."
Szudera said Buckman was not trying to hang himself, adding that the impossibility of being able to suspend oneself is one of the room's safety features.
Szudera said two of the officers suffered minor injuries.
More than two hours later, Buckman was taken to Northern Montana Hospital, according to the sheriff's office log. Szudera said the hospitalization was unrelated to the suicide attempt.
"He started to show a medical situation," Szudera said, "a possible overdose of drugs or something of that order."
He said Buckman was taken to the hospital's behavioral health services unit.
Buckman was released from law enforcement custody Monday, Szudera said. He didn't know if Buckman remained in the hospital, he added.