Inmate slits throat in front of deputies

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An inmate has died after authorities say he repeatedly slit his throat in front of deputies as they pepper sprayed him and screamed for him to stop.

Polk County Sheriff's Office said 54-year-old Joseph Gazzola died Friday after slitting his throat with a tiny razor.

The Lakeland Ledger ( reports a jury found Gazzola guilty Thursday of resisting an officer with violence and battery on an officer. Gazzola was arrested in August. He'd been out on bail up until his court date.

Authorities said Gazzola may have smuggled the razor with a small piece of plastic in his groin through a body scanner at the courthouse. He also cleared three other security systems.

His son said he called the jail to warn them his dead was suicidal, but said no one seemed to care. Authorities said they checked on Gazzola and he was fine.


Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.),