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Nassau inmate who attempted suicide dies, officials say

John Quaresimo, 47, died Tuesday, June 14, 2016,

John Quaresimo, 47, died Tuesday, June 14, 2016, after a suicide attempt the day before at the Nassau County Jail, officials say. Credit: Courtesy Monique Doherty

A Nassau County jail inmate who attempted suicide in the East Meadow correctional facility on Monday has died, state officials confirmed Wednesday.

The 47-year-old inmate used an arm sling he had for medical purposes to hang himself inside a cell in the jail’s infirmary on Monday afternoon, sources with knowledge of the situation previously told Newsday.

Sources also said the man was still hospitalized Tuesday and was being kept alive on life support at Nassau University Medical Center — although he was believed to be brain dead — before he died Tuesday night.

The death of the inmate, John Quaresimo of West Hempstead, marks the jail’s fourth custody death this year.

The fatality comes at a time when the jail and its private medical provider, Armor Correctional Health Services, have come under intense scrutiny following the state Commission of Correction’s criticism of Armor’s health care standards and lawsuits against the vendor and county after other inmate deaths.

The state attorney general’s office also has been probing Armor’s medical practices.

Quaresimo’s attorney, Patrick Kauffman of Mineola, and the inmate’s close friend, Monique Doherty, 48, of West Hempstead, confirmed his identity Wednesday as the inmate who had died.

Doherty, a former Nassau County employee, said she had known Quaresimo for many years and that he was estranged from his family.

“He was kind of a lost soul, but he was a tremendous person and he had a tremendous heart and that’s why I never gave up on him,” Doherty said.

Capt. Michael Golio, a spokesman for Nassau Sheriff Michael Sposato, said in a Tuesday statement that there was a medical emergency at the jail Monday that led to an inmate’s hospitalization. But he cited an ongoing investigation and medical privacy laws, and declined to comment further on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, Commission of Correction officials confirmed Wednesday that Nassau jail officials had reported to the oversight agency that an inmate who had attempted suicide had since died.

Records show police arrested Quaresimo on Saturday on stolen property and grand larceny charges and he was scheduled for a Sunday hospital arraignment. Sources said authorities later brought Quaresimo to the jail from the hospital before he hung himself Monday.

Kauffman has said Quaresimo was wearing a sling on his arm in court on June 7 when he last saw him, and he believed he had been in a car accident, but didn’t seem depressed or show signs of mental health problems.

An Armor spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company is committed to quality patient care in the jail, but wouldn’t comment further because of a medical privacy law and “out of respect for our patients.” On Wednesday, she said Armor stood by its prior statement.

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