NEW YORK (PIX11) — A father of three unable to post bail became the first person to die in the custody of New York City’s Department of Correction this year.
Tarz Youngblood, 38, was inside found unresponsive on Rikers Island; CPR was performed and he was later brought to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced deceased Sunday morning, according to the Department of Correction.
“We will work aggressively to determine the circumstances surrounding Mr. Youngblood’s death. My deepest sympathy goes out to his loved ones,” DOC Commissioner Louis Molina said.
Taylor Garzone worked with Youngblood as a social worker with the New York County Defender Services.
“From what we know inmates found him, lifted him up onto a table and waited for officers to come and then waited for EMS to come,” Garzone said. “It seems like a lot of time was wasted.”
Youngblood was in jail since September after not being able to post bail for the domestic violence charges pending against him.
“[He was] a father of three young children, a very kind and well-intentioned man who certainly needed some help but was motivated to receive that help,” Garzone said.
There were 16 DOC-related deaths in 2021; most of the 16 died while in custody, but two died shortly after they were compassionately released.