Inmate coats Aspen jail cell with blood |

Inmate coats Aspen jail cell with blood

An inmate at the Pitkin County Jail spewed blood all over the inside of his cell Wednesday, causing yet another expensive mess at the facility, officials said Friday.

“It was everywhere — walls, windows, floor,” Jail Administrator Don Bird said.

Bird and Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo both declined to state the name of the inmate involved because the incident involves both health and mental-health issues.

Inmate Landin Smith, 52, was charged Tuesday with tampering after he wrote words and drew pictures on his cell walls using his own blood, according to a police report.

DiSalvo said Wednesday’s incident was “far more severe” than the incident Tuesday.

“The damage is significant,” he said. “Part of the problem is we have too many mentally ill people in the jail.”

Neither Bird nor DiSalvo would specify exactly how the inmate injured himself and coated the cell in blood. But deputies who entered the cell to deal with the inmate had to wear biohazard suits that showed only a portion of their faces and respirators, he said.

The inmate was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Employees of a local company that cleans up hazardous materials worked Wednesday night, all day Thursday and Friday cleaning up the cell, Bird said. He didn’t know how much the cleanup would cost.

The bloody mess is just the latest debacle to afflict the 32-year-old facility in recent months. Another inmate broke off a sprinkler head last month in a cell and flooded the jail, destroying sensitive computer equipment in the basement to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

All that occurred just after the county spent $300,000 to renovate portions of the jail this summer.

“We keep remodeling the remodel,” DiSalvo said. “It’s kind of odd.”

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