Officials question death of San Francisco inmate

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are questions about the death of an inmate at San Francisco County Jail who may have committed suicide. Officials say a prisoner previously told his family he wanted to take his own life.

The question is whether the suicide could've been prevented or did the deputies do everything they could to determine that this inmate was not a danger to himself.

Last Saturday, Alberto Petrolino's family called CHP saying he told them he was going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Officers with the help of the bridge patrol found him drunk on a bench at the bridge parking lot.

CHP officials said its officers asked Petrolino if he was suicidal and he said he wasn't. Then, officers asked him a series of standard questions to see if he was telling the truth. They determined he was and that he wasn't suicidal.

Officers discovered Petrolino had arrest warrants so they took him to San Francisco County Jail where he was booked. "Violation of a court order. Probably a stay away order or some kind of court order," San Francisco Sheriff's Department spokesperson Mark Nicco said.

Petrolino was jailed with the general population and not under a suicide watch.

CHP officials released a statement saying its officers did share their information with sheriff's deputies about the initial suicide call.

On Tuesday evening, deputies found Petrolino hanging from a shower stall at the jail. "What we do know is it's an apparent suicide. The facts of the case are obviously under investigation," Nicco said.

There are questions for investigators: Did the deputies also determine that Petrolino was not a suicide risk? And if he wasn't, why did he take his own life? And how could he do it in a jail shower stall?
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.