Crime

Officials release jail booking video of mentally ill teen

Officials release jail booking video of mentally ill teen

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office released a 16-minute video Wednesday of a mentally ill Pasco teen being booked into jail eight days before he was found dead in his cell. Some scenes of him being undressed have been edited.
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The Benton County Sheriff’s Office released a 16-minute video Wednesday of a mentally ill Pasco teen being booked into jail eight days before he was found dead in his cell. Some scenes of him being undressed have been edited.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office released a 16-minute video Wednesday of a mentally ill Pasco teen being booked into jail eight days before he was found dead in his cell.

Marc A. Moreno, 18, died March 11 in a special cell where he was being checked every 30 minutes because of his erratic and disruptive behavior, said sheriff’s officials.

The GoPro video footage was taken by corrections officers because Moreno was being uncooperative on his way to jail and had made suicidal statements, officials said.

The video shows officers stripping Moreno, dressing him in a suicide smock and putting him in a restraint chair. Moreno shouts out in part of the video and can be heard making odd noises.

Corrections officers placed a hood over Moreno’s head to keep him from spitting. Moreno, after being evaluated by a nurse, is eventually wheeled into a single person cell and left alone facing a corner.

He was later moved to a special holding cell, where he reportedly continued to act erratically, including yelling, throwing food and refusing to eat.

Sheriff Steve Keane said he released the video to show how Moreno was behaving when he was brought in.

Benton County Sheriff’s Office video shows officers stripping Moreno, dressing him in a suicide smock and putting him in a restraint chair. Moreno shouts out in part of the video and can be heard making odd noises. Officers place a hood over his head to keep him from spitting. After being evaluated by a nurse, he is wheeled into a single person cell and left alone facing a corner.

Moreno was arrested at the Benton Franklin Crisis Response Unit, where he had gone with family members to get help for mental health issues. He’d been released earlier the same day from Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco.

Investigators say he was arrested on some misdemeanor warrants when he began acting aggressively at the crisis response center. On the way to the jail, he kicked the seat in the patrol car and spit inside the car.

Moreno was bipolar and suffered from schizophrenia, his family said.

An autopsy performed earlier this week did not immediately show how Moreno died, said officials. Further lab tests are needed to try and determine why he died, said coroner officials.

Attorney George Trejo Jr. told the Herald on Wednesday that he has been hired by the Moreno family.

Keane said he wanted to show the family the video before it was released to the public, but it couldn’t be arranged.

Moreno’s family said the teen, who would have turned 19 on Monday, was affiliated with gang members and had been in trouble with the law but still should have been in medical care not the jail.

Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556, @Ty_richardson

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