Jailed teen tries to commit suicide

OKEECHOBEE — A 16-year-old teen being held in the county jail on adult charges is said to be in critical condition at a West Palm Beach hospital after he apparently tried to commit suicide in his cell.

Kendrick Mitchell Renick was found by detention deputies around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, with a bedsheet around his throat, said Michele Bell, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) public information officer.

Mrs. Bell said due to disciplinary reasons, Renick was being held in a cell by himself but was not in solitary confinement and was still in a juvenile area of the jail.

“Detention deputies found him after other juvenile inmates started throwing water into Renick’s cell,” she said.

The deputies removed the bedsheet and immediately began cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical personnel arrived.

Renick was first taken to Raulerson Hospital then later transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach.

Mrs. Bell said the teen was not on suicide watch.

Renick, a client at the Okeechobee Juvenile Offender Correctional Center, was arrested Nov. 10, 2016, after he reportedly attacked a teacher.

A report by OCSO Deputy Jonathon Gove indicated Renick was in a classroom when he got up from his desk and walked into a dayroom to dispose of a napkin. He then went to his bedroom and when he returned to the classroom he was carrying a black sock filled with desk parts, continued the report.

He then began to attack the 69-year-old male teacher, noted the deputy.
According to the deputy’s report the teacher had “… numerous red and bleeding scratches on the back of his head and neck.”

Deputy Gove stated the teacher also had a swollen left hand.

Renick was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated battery on a public/private education employee and booked into the county jail.

On Dec. 16, 2016, the office of the state’s attorney dropped that charge and issued an arrest warrant for Renick that charged him with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was now charged as an adult and his bond was set at $75,000.

The last suicide at the county jail was just a few days past one year ago, when a 48-year-old Hispanic man was found around 5 a.m. Dec. 28, 2015, with a bedsheet around his neck. The sheet was attached to his bunk.

The man was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, where he died Dec. 30, 2015.

Unofficially, since 1992 six people have committed suicide while incarcerated in the county jail.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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