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Irvine : City Agrees to Pay $100,000 to Ex-POW

Five years after a former prisoner of war in Vietnam tried to hang himself in a jail cell, the city of Irvine has agreed to pay the man $100,000 to settle his claims of negligence against its Police Department.

Daniel Driscoll, 41, a former Irvine man who now lives in Nevada, tried to hang himself with his belt just minutes after being placed in an Irvine holding cell on suspicion of assault, even before he had been booked, said his lawyer, Michael S. Fields of Los Angeles.

Driscoll charged in a lawsuit that city police officers, in violation of their own department policy, had allowed him to enter the holding cell while still wearing a belt, Fields said.

The attorney added that police knew or should have known Driscoll’s history of mental instability. Driscoll, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, was in a coma for several days after the unsuccessful hanging and still suffers substantial memory loss, his lawyer said. The $100,000 settlement was reached last week.

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