On October 24, 2016, David Garceau, an inmate at the St. Louis Community Release Center, was pronounced dead in his cell. He had been hanging by a sheet for 10 hours. Advertisement
Garceau s death was reported straightforwardly in the media. Yet an investigation by the Missouri Department of Corrections, which was first published Wednesday after an open records request by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, found that guards at the facility, which acts as a halfway house for residents recently released from prison, spent hours online and skipped routine security checks.
During the time Garceau was dying, staffers had streamed Netflix, checked Twitter, and browsed the internet. They had apparently not noticed their surveillance cameras showing Garceau repeatedly testing ways to hang himself. Garceau struggled for years with drug addiction and mental illness. He spent time homeless after his father kicked him out for cutting his wrists deeply enough to require a hospital stay, and racked up convictions for burglary and arson. He was being held in the center s Administrative Segregation Unit, with the Post-Dispatch describes as like timeout for adults.
Video recorded between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 23 shows Garceau testing different ways to tie and secure a brown bed sheet to a bed frame. A guard in the area during that time later told an investigator that he did his job admirably as an employee that afternoon. But surveillance video indicated that he lied about doing three security checks between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The video also indicated the guard had been watching something on a computer screen that wasn t live video footage of Garceau s cell.
A review of internet usage of the computer during the guard s nine-hour shift found 254 pages of detailed internet access and 2 hours and 22 minutes of media streaming and access to electronic social networks. The guard wasn t the only one asleep at the wheel. Another official, who is 24, spent her eight-hour shift visiting Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, and streaming services for 4 hours and 54 minutes, a review of her computer usage found. Advertisement
Another guard, LaTasha Poole, 33, is also shown skipping security checks on surveillance video. But she told the newspaper the night of Garceau s death was her first working in the area and she wasn t equipped with the proper training.
Poole, who s accused of using a computer to stream Blue Streak on Netflix during her shift, told an investigator she thought her behavior was acceptable because she watched the movie with her immediate supervisor. No charges came from a St. Louis police investigation into Garceau s death. Advertisement
The center has had similar incidents occur previously. Another resident, Demarko Flowers, 22, was found unresponsive in his cell on Jan. 5. His death remains under investigation as a possible overdose.
Photo: Brett French/Billings Gazette
When civilians get their vehicles stuck in mud pits, they ve got to find someone with a truck (or tractor) and tow strap to give them a tug. But when Air Force airmen get their rigs stuck, they ve got much cooler options.
Writer for the Billings Gazette Jordon Niedermeier was out turkey hunting in Montana with the newspaper s outdoors editor when the two came across a HMMWV stuck on the muddy road. After his editor took some photos (including the one above), Niedermeier did a bit of digging, and found that the HMMWV belonged to U.S. Air Force security forces out of Malmstrom Air Force Base, and that it had gotten stuck while its crew patrolled nearby Minuteman III missile sites .
The Billings Gazette spoke with public affairs chief at Malmstrom Air Force Base Connie Hempel, who said that, upon getting stuck, crew members patrolling the missile sites had to ditch the HMMWV in the mud and walk down the road carrying weapons and other military gear.
Photo: Maj. Christopher Lende / PAO for Montana National Guard
With mud all the way up to the driver s side door, the Humvee which rides on enormous 37-inch tires and whose belly sits well over a foot above the ground wouldn t budge even after multiple attempts to jam rocks and branches under the tires, and to tow the vehicle out with a truck. Advertisement
According to the Billings Gazette, Hempel said the Montana Army National Guard had contacted Malmstrom Air Force Base and asked to use a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to rescue the Humvee as part of a training exercise that the chief public affairs officer for the Montana National Guard Maj. Christopher Lende referred to as sling load operations. Major Lende said the entire training operation only took 30 minutes, at which point the HMMWV (the sling load ) was back, safe and sound, on Malmstrom Air Force Base after being stuck in the mud pit for over a week.
Writer, Jalopnik. 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee.
The United Airlines passenger who made international headlines after being dragged from a flight earlier this month injured himself by resisting, according to police reports from the incident. Dr. David Dao hit his mouth on an arm rest after pulling his arm away from a Chicago Aviation Department officer’s right hand, police reports obtained by Heavy.com and the Associated Press said. The 69-year-old doctor was “flailing and fighting,” James Long of the Chicago Aviation Department sad in his report.
Dao spent three nights in a Chicago hospital with a concussion, broken nose, sinus injury and two missing teeth, his lawyer said at a press conference on April 13. Long said he approached Dao to ask the 69-year-old physician to get off the plane, according to the police report. Long said Dao refused and “folded his arms tightly.” Long said he reached out to “hold” Dao and was able to pull him away from his window seat on the aircraft and move toward the aisle, the police report said.
“But suddenly the subject started flailing and fighting,” Long wrote. The Kentucky resident was one of four people randomly chosen to be “re-accomodated” from the Louisville-bound flight because United needed seats for employees.
Passengers had been offered $800 to fly the following day, but didn’t accept.
A lawyer for Dao said Monday it’s too late for the airline’s CEO to apologize face-to-face and that his client intends to file a lawsuit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jeff Goldman may be reached at