By Gaige Davila
A suicide attempt by a man in Port Isabel Police Department (PIPD) holding cell occurred around two weeks ago, PIPD Chief Robert Lopez confirmed to the PRESS.
The Texas Rangers of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) have taken over the investigation, as per protocol, according to Lopez. Lopez said he could not disclose any information about the suicide attempt because it was being investigated by the Texas Rangers.
The man, Axel Gutierrez, attempted suicide in the jail cell on Thursday, September 26, after being arrested for an undisclosed charge, and died later in Valley Regional Medical Center, after being taken off life support, on Saturday, September 28, sources told the PRESS. Sources have said the man was a former employee of Blackbeard’s restaurant on South Padre Island.
“How no one was around to stop him is beyond me,” a friend of Gutierrez said to the PRESS, under the condition of anonymity. “They have cameras in there. Where was everyone?”
Maria Montalvo, public information officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said DPS was not releasing information on Gutierrez’s arrest and death at this time. The PRESS has filed an open records request on Gutierrez’s arrest and associated documents investigating his death.