LAND O'LAKES — A 28-year-old woman waiting in Pasco County Jail to be booked on a grand theft charge Monday morning attempted to strangle herself with her underwear.
Krista Brescia was left alone for about two minutes in a holding room while deputies processed her paperwork, Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said.
When they returned, Brescia had taken off her underpants and tied them tightly around her neck.
Deputies cut off the undergarment using a long hook with a sharp edge underneath, Doll said.
The tool is used to remove sheets and other objects from inmates without injuring them, he said.
Brescia was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. She remained in the emergency room in stable condition Monday afternoon.
A New Port Richey police officer arrested Brescia about 3:20 a.m. Monday after someone tried to steal a purse and a wallet from two people inside the emergency room of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey, Doll said.
At that time, the Port Richey woman was out on $17,000 bail stemming from two previous arrests on drug-related charges. After Monday's arrest, Brescia's bail bondsman revoked that bail, according to jail records.
Her new bail with Monday's grand theft charge is $22,000.
Brescia has tried to commit suicide inside the county jail more than once, Doll said. But no one in the holding area Monday morning knew about Brescia's history, he said.
"She was not acting suicidal at the time, and that's what they go by," Doll said.
"If we put everyone who said they were suicidal in special custody, we wouldn't have anyone in the general population."
Nomaan Merchant can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6244.