Edward Crisante Jr. was, by his parents' account, struggling with depression at the age of 32 in July 2010. He was a Fort Lauderdale barber with multiple felony counts in his past, including many drug charges, but it was a traffic ticket that led him to his death.
After failing to appear in court for the ticket, he turned himself in at the jail on June 29, 2010. On July 3, he hung himself with a bedsheet in his cell. He was in a coma until July 13, when he died.
Now, his parents have filed a wrongful-death suit against Sheriff Al Lamberti the Broward Sheriff's Office, claiming that jail officials were negligent and indifferent to his condition.
The plaintiff in the suit is Crisante's estate, which is being handled by the law firm of attorney and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler. Crisante's beneficiaries are his parents, who are seeking damages as well as money for the financial support they won't be getting from their son.
"Prior to July 3, 2010, Edward Crisante, Jr. told numerous Broward Sheriff's Office employees of his depressed state and his desire to end his life," states the lawsuit, filed this past summer. The suit goes on to say BSO "displayed a deliberate indifference to Edward Crisante, Jr.'s menta condition and the likely consequences of that condition." It alleges that BSO did prescribe medication to Crisante, but not the proper medication.
Crisante's death by hanging happened the same month that Kennith Kellum, an inmate facing drug-related warrants, also hung himself with his bedsheet.
BSO announced after Crisante's hanging that it had launched an internal investigation. In light of the lawsuit, we've inquire about any conclusions they may have reached, but BSO was unable to provide a response on Friday. BSO does not usually comment on ongoing lawsuits.
Reached by phone, Seiler said he was acting as the plaintiff in the suit in name only, standing in for the parents. We are reaching out to the separate law firm that filed the suit for comment.