Officials: Chesapeake inmate dies after suffering medical emergency

Thomas L. Santiful. (Credit: Chesapeake Sheriff's Office).

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — An inmate at the Chesapeake Correctional Center died Tuesday night after having a medical emergency.

The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office said deputies and medical responded with lifesaving measures until EMS arrived.

The inmate, 49-year-old Thomas L. Santiful, was pronounced dead at the jail an hour after he suffered the medical emergency.

10 On Your Side spoke to a woman whose husband stayed on the same floor as Santiful.

“He was talking to the guy and then everything seemed fine,” Sylvia Woodard said her husband told her. “I guess the guy said he had a headache.”

Woodard said the next thing her husband knew people started yelling for medics.

A sheriff’s office says a deputy and a nurse were in the housing unit when the emergency happened. Santiful was in his cell at the time.

According to the official, this was not a condition staff were aware of previously.

Santiful was serving a year and a half sentence for two probation violations. His death is being investigated by Chesapeake police.

Woodard said the jail staff has been attentive, at least, in her husband’s experience.

“They check on them once every hour or so,” she said. “They check on them pretty frequently.”

The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office will be conducting an internal investigation.