A Hayfork man who had been in jail after a stabbing incident in Hayfork in February was found unresponsive in his cell and later pronounced dead at a Redding hospital.
Sheriff Tim Saxon confirmed that correctional staff found Aron Lewandowski, 44, in his cell on Feb. 26, unresponsive after an apparent suicide attempt. The method was not released and his family was notified upon discovery.
Staff were able to resuscitate him and transfer him to a Redding hospital where he was later pronounced deceased, Saxon said.
The new Trinity County Jail has been in operation since November 2022 when inmates were transferred from the old jail on Memorial Drive. While the new jail has improved security and safety features, Saxon said Lewandowski was able to find a way around them and do harm to himself.
Saxon said that during the construction of the jail, Board of State and Community Corrections inspectors regularly checked to ensure compliance with state and federal rules and regulations.
However, cameras inside individual cells would constitute a violation of privacy, Saxon said.
Saxon said if an individual wants to do harm to themselves, it’s difficult to know in advance or prevent them from doing so.
Saying jail staff go to great lengths to ensure the highest safety possible at the jail, Saxon said a correctional deputy uses an electronic device that confirms each cell is checked regularly and that its data shows Lewandowski’s cell was checked on schedule.
Saxon said he didn’t initially report the death to the public out of concern for his family but said an investigation is underway and a full report was made to the Department of Justice, the Board of State and Community Corrections and District Attorney David Brady.
Lewandowski was being held for prosecution following his arrest in February for allegedly stabbing another subject in the neck with a knife on Feb. 1.
Deputies responded from all areas of Trinity County to clear the scene and allow medical personnel to treat the victim whose name was withheld by law enforcement. Once the scene was secured, first responders administered medical aid until an ambulance arrived. The victim was transported to a local hospital and was in critical condition, according to a TCSO release. Saxon said Monday, March 20, that the victim survived and was out of the hospital.
At last report, no motive had been determined for the stabbing or if Lewandowski knew the victim.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.