RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — A Long Island man accused of gouging out his grandmother’s eyes and blinding her during a dispute over money has killed himself.
Authorities told Newsday that a guard at the Suffolk County Jail in Yaphank found 30-year-old Michael Grief hanging in his cell early Friday morning. Grief was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Michael Sharkey, the chief deputy sheriff at the jail, says Grief was not on suicide watch. He says jail officials will conduct an investigation.
Grief had pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on assault charges Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Grief gouged out his grandmother’s eyes with his fingers outside their Sayville home last month in a fit of rage over the use of her debit card. They say his grandmother blamed him for a $1,000 overdraft.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) . It is a free, 24/7 service that offers support, information, and local resources. You can also click here for additional hotlines within your state.
Depression and suicidal thoughts are often exhibited in many ways. Warning signs for suicide can include, but are not limited to, talking about wanting to die; conveying feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or being a burden; and displaying extreme moods.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention advises that you do not leave the person alone, call a prevention hotline, and take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
For more information on suicide prevention, including additional resources and warning signs, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.