Las Vegas Police Say Jail Officers Ignored Inmate’s Calls Before He Was Found In Cell

Las Vegas, Nev. (FOX5) – Officers at the Clark County Detention Center ignored an inmate’s call for duty before he was found dead in his cell, according to a Las Vegas police arrest report.

James Chatien was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 2:32 p.m. on October 18. Chatien was taken to University Medical Center, where he later died. His colleague Lee Johnson was re-arrested on a manslaughter charge in connection with the incident.

Chatien and Johnson were located at CCDC on Oct. 17 around 2:15 p.m., LVMPD said.

“[Chatien] “He had several documented behavioral incidents of misusing his call light,” officers said in Johnson’s arrest report.

Officers last checked on the pair at 1:34 p.m. on Oct. 18, the report said. At 1:47 p.m., the camera’s alarm light went on and correction officers turned it off. Then, at 13:53, the bell light was activated again. The report did not say if the officers again denied the call light, but corrections officers resumed routine checks at 2:04 p.m.

When the corrections officer arrived, he was greeted by Johnson. Johnson told the officer he was “going to end up like this [expletive]”, the news says. The officer said he could not see Chatien on camera at the time, but called for caution.

Johnson was removed from the cell and officers found Chatien on the ground with blood around his head. Chatien had visible injuries to his head and body and was unresponsive, the report said. Chatien was taken to UMC and later pronounced dead.

In an interview with police, Johnson was described as “very agitated” and rocking back and forth in his chair, the arrest report said. Johnson said the incident occurred because his cellmate was “running his mouth,” according to the report.

The report also states that Johnson is tired of being disrespected by his wife, so “I tried to kill her, you got a problem with that?”

Police said Johnson continued to make erratic statements and said he had punched his wife all over her body. Johnson said no weapon was used. Johnson also reportedly told police he was not sorry for what he did.

FOX5 requested records of Chatien’s improper use of the phone call light.

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