Man Sues Jail After Double Amputation
A Green Country man sues the Creek County Jail for $30 million. In an exclusive, News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports doctors had to amputate both of Russell Mounger's legs after he says jail staff ignored his medical needs.
It all took place inside the Creek County Jail. The case sounds unbelievable, a disoriented, sick man allowed to languish for days, only being rushed the hospital when he was nearly dead. Even a health department report says many things were done wrong in this case.
Russell Mounger's whole life is different now that he's in a wheelchair. He's 36 years old and last summer got arrested on gun, meth and marijuana charges. He was out on bond until he went to court on October 30th and because he'd only paid his bondsmen half the required money, was put in jail. He was nearly dead 13 days later.
"You go to jail on minor charges, you wake up in the hospital with no legs, just ain't right," said Russell Mounger.
Russell had knee surgery a few days before being taken to jail, so his mother called every day to check on him and was told he was fine until November 5th. She says they told her there'd been an incident where Russell was punched and kicked and would see the nurse the next day. A few days later during a visit, Russell had to be carried because he couldn't walk.
"Called the nurse back and said he can't walk. Something is wrong. She said, ‘what makes you think he can't walk?' They had to carry him. She said, ‘we think he's faking it,'" said Russell's mother, Patti Santa Maria.
That's the day Patti's crusade began. She says she spent days calling the sheriff, the district attorney, jail inspectors, and the health department, but she felt no one listened.
Then on November 12th, she got a call from the hospital.
"You need to get here now. We don't think he's gonna pull through," said Russell's mother, Patti Santa Maria.
Russell's feet were black with gangrene. His temperature was 84 degrees. He was bleeding from his orifices. His blood pressure just 59 over 26.
Doctors said the only way to save his life to was to amputate both his legs and that might not even work.
"We wouldn't expect this to happen in an Iraqi prison, let alone in Creek County, Oklahoma," said attorney Clark Brewster.
The Creek County Sheriff's Office told The News On 6 they expected a lawsuit would be filed. They said they did a six-week-long investigation and terminated three people who could've done a better job in this case.
They say it is unclear what caused the blood clots that led to Russell's condition. They do admit he was placed in a restraint chair because his behavior became bizarre and that they left him in it for too long.
They express their sympathy to Russell and his family and wish him the best in his recovery.