Jail inmate gets $1 million worth of medical care for eating metal

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Cook County Jail inmate Lamont Cathey

CHICAGO — An inmate is costing the Cook County Jail more than $1 million in medical bills.

17-year-old Lamont Cathey has been in jail for 16 months since he was arrested for robbing a pizzeria.

Bond was set at $5,000, but no one has paid it.

A plea deal was in place to put Cathey in boot camp, but that fell through.

Since then he has been swallowing metal objects that have put him in the hospital.

They include screws, needles, a thumbtack, strips of leather, and parts of a medical device.

Cathey has needed multiple operations to remove those things from his body.

His lawyers say he needs long-term psychiatric treatment.

“This case to me is a perfect example of the failure of the criminal justice system,’ the jail`s executive director, Cara Smith, told the Chicago Tribune. “It`s been a crushingly sad and very frustrating case.’

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3 comments

  • Sherri Ter Molen

    There was an episode (Place of Life) of a CBS medical drama called Three Rivers (starring Daniel Henney) in which a kid was admitted to the hospital for continuously eating metal. It turned out the kid had a mineral deficiency. Perhaps Lamont Cathey also suffers from a mineral deficiency.

    • Schiff T Reggin

      Are you being ironic?

      He is eating metal to prove he is a nut-case (pun intended) in hopes that they will transfer him to a psych ward instead of the jail cell he is rotting in right now.

  • Donna Thorpe

    Unbelievable that he gets to spend that much in taxpayers money when the “normal” population can’t get good health benefits. People that do have a good insurance get questioned if they have another insurance so the one you are paying for isn’t paying astronomical fees. I’m sure he’s had blood work done to see if he has a deficiency. Put in a cement cell after a good cleaning that he can’t get anything to eat. No utensils , will have to use hands. Terrible to allow the taxpayers that are struggling as it is to keep having to pay for this. Wonder if the family is getting billed for this. Family still has to pay a dying persons bills. Start charging the families!!!!