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Two men have died since Saturday in the Racine County Jail
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Two men have died since Saturday in the Racine County Jail

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RACINE — Two men have died in the Racine County Jail since Saturday, the Racine County Sheriff's Office has reported.

The first man was 22-year-old Ronquale Ditello-Scott Jr., for whom the cause of death has not been confirmed.

He was arrested at about 3 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of OWI in Waterford, was reported to have been sleeping in his holding cell that morning but then was found to be not breathing at about 8 a.m. and was confirmed dead at the jail, according to the Racine County Sheriff's Office.

Ditello-Scott, of Whitewater, was a father of one who was engaged to be married. His second child is due in September.

The second man who died at the jail was Malcolm I. James, 27, Racine County Medical Examiner Michael Payne confirmed.

He was arrested Friday night by the Racine Police Department after he allegedly set his apartment building on fire during a mental health crisis; according to charging documents, he allegedly called police on himself, saying he didn't want to die and that he "just didn't know what to do."

According to a Wednesday morning news release from the Racine County Sheriff's Office that did not mention James by name: "During his time in the jail, based upon his recent suicide attempt, the suspect was placed on suicide close watch in a high visibility cell. During this same time, the suspect engaged in multiple acts of self-harm where he would, amongst other acts, violently smash his head into a concrete wall. On one occasion, the suspect’s self-harming behavior was serious enough that the Sheriff’s Office transported the suspect to a hospital for additional medical attention."

On Tuesday night, according to the RCSO, James again "was again smashing his head into a concrete wall so violently that it was audible to jail staff. When the jail staff took steps to medically evaluate the suspect and prevent him from harming himself, he experienced a medical event which led to him becoming unresponsive. Medical staff, which was present and standing by, immediately provided medical care and additional emergency personnel were summoned to the jail. Ultimately, the suspect did not regain consciousness, and he was pronounced dead."

According to the RCSO, all jail staff who attended to James immediately before his death have been placed on administrative leave.

The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department is investigating both deaths.

UPDATED: This story initially misstated the day of Malcolm James' arrest. It has now been corrected.

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