Inmate Who Suffered Asthma Attack on Work Release Dies, County Disciplines Two Corrections Officers
County disciplines two corrections officers. Family still seeking justice.
Felix Manus, 48, the Erie County prison inmate hospitalized on life support after suffering a serious asthma attack while on work release duty, has died.
Family members of Felix Manus blame his fate on Erie County corrections officers who they say failed to quickly get him medical help when he suffered a severe asthma attack while on lawn mowing detail near Edinboro on May 30. They say Manus didn't have his inhaler, was having difficulty breathing and repeatedly asked for help. But instead of calling 911, the county corrections officers overseeing Manus drove him 30 minutes back to the county prison work release center. Where family members say he had to wait another 10 minutes for an ambulance.
The news of his death came as Erie County officials released the findings of an internal investigation, determining that two corrections officers should be disciplined for how they handled the medical emergency.
County Director of Administration Gary Lee said, “We determined in the administration led by our county solicitor that different actions could have been taken.” For personnel and union reason they declined to say who they are and what that discipline is.
Family members are grieving. In their view, because of a lack of action, a day on work detail over being $750 behind child support, cost Felix his life.
The family and the county hopes an autopsy planned for Wednesday provides more answers. "I hope that the autopsy does show what they did or failed to do for my dad,” Bryhanna Manus said. “I hope it does show more facts than what we already have to get justice for my dad, he didn't deserve this."
Attorney John Mizner representing the family said it is too early to determine if the action or inaction may rise to the level of criminal liability, but he promised when the facts are revealed, that the family will see justice for Felix Manus. "And while I understand that there may be union rules that don't allow the release of that information now,” Mizner said, “rest assured the family will discover all those facts and insist on complete accountability."