No criminal charges in death of Mukilteo man in Snohomish County Jail

saffiotiEVERETT — The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday it won’t be filing criminal charges against anyone for the death of a 22-year-old Mukilteo man in the Snohomish County Jail.

Michael Saffioti died in the jail on July 3, shortly after turning himself in on a misdemeanor warrant for pot possession.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of his death was bronchial asthma. The county sheriff’s office conducted an investigation of Saffioti’s death and forwarded its findings to the prosecutor’s office “with no criminal referral”  — meaning it could not recommend criminal charges in the case.

In an interview on Nov. 29, Rose Saffioti, Michael’s mother, said she believed her son’s death stemmed from his severe allergies and the jail’s negligence to provide proper medical care.

“I know my son tried to get help (in the jail) and he was ignored.  I know that. He wouldn’t have died, had he gotten help,” Rose Saffioti said.

Saffioti was known by fellow inmates at Snohomish County Jail as “Bubble Boy” because of his severe allergies and the accommodations made during previous stays at the jail, always in the medical unit.

Saffioti’s mother said the jail staff usually took extra care with her son during various minor scrapes with the law, except his most recent, when she said their negligence cost her son’s life. Saffioti was born with a severe, debilitating, dairy allergy and extreme asthma.

Rose Saffioti said that over the years Michael turned to marijuana to cope with anxiety caused by his condition. When he turned himself into police for missing a court date for violating his probation for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, he brought all of his medications with him and the Saffiotis made arrangements for him to stay in the medical unit at Snohomish County Jail.

Rose Saffioti said she told him, “I said the plan is in place, we talked about it, you have to do this and you’ll be taken care of.”

The next day, she said she got the call that her son was dead.

“They were assured he’d be in a medical unit. He wasn’t, he was in a general cell, and he was given items that killed him, dairy products. And he had a severe reaction. The autopsy said he died from what he ate,” Anne Bremner, Saffioti’s attorney, said.

Bremner said witnesses recall prison guards were slow to act during Michael’s allergic reaction to a meal in his cell.

“The response from the guards was things like: ‘If you don’t cut it out, you’re going into the hole,’ and ‘Stop faking it’,” Bremner said.

Saffioti was one of three people to die in the jail in 2012.

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25 comments

    • Brian

      Navytown, you are a heartless A***hole!!! Who do you think you are, Mr. Perfect? All this kid had was a petty weed charge. The jails don't give a flying crap about anyone that goes in and claim that they "take care of medical patients, which they obviously don't." She needs to SUE THE HELL out of the jail, I'd sue them so bad that our Governor alone would ring each one of their necks because of the state revenue loss, and I'd be laughing all the way to the bank.

      This is a sad, terrible thing and clearly our justice system is corrupt and probably has a***holes just like you working in it. YOU JERK! The jail workers are heartless, nobody cared for this boy and that is just sad and disgusting. I hope she sues and wins big.

      • Julia

        Then he obviously has a biased opinion of people in jail, and does't understand that the circumstances that put this kid into jail didn't make him deserving of death. This kid had a minor charge, and he voluntarily turned himself in for making a mistake. he didn't run from the law, he turned himself into it and it killed him. That TOTALLY makes me want to trust the justice system. (And I'm a legal aid, so that's saying something).

        Saying he should have tried harder to stay out of jail, is like saying he should have broken more laws rather than face his bad choices. NAVYTOWNROGER, you my friend are a class A prick, and I hope you make a mistake one day that someone says is worth your life, cuz then you'll understand the injustice this kid's mother feels.

    • DR Culp

      yeah and politicians the bansters and ALL corrupt government that steal us all blind get off the hook STFU you righteous pos

    • pissedoffposter

      Too bad you decided to express your ignorance by opening your mouth. Why don't you do the world a favor and throw yourself into the next on coming bus you see driving down the road you piece of shit. STOP WASTING MY FUCKING AIR IN YOUR LUNGS, YOU DONT DESERVE IT!

  • steve

    This is horrible this should have never happened and anyone that is flippant about anything like this had better take care to avoid incarceration as this type of story is all to often unreported and if you ever are arrested you may receive the same treatment and then if so shut up and sit on your bunk and be be quiet , this must be terribly horrible for this young mans family, may God bring them some peace in this time of sorrow.

  • Kris

    Although I am saddened by the death of anyone, I wonder if his pot smoking habit exacerbated his asthma. I have had severe asthma my entire life. I cannot be around any kind of smoke without my asthma kicking in even though it (my asthma) is controlled by medication. Such a shame.

    • oneindependent

      Kris please educate yourself about cannabis before posting like this if you wonder if his cannabis use exacerbated his asthma?_Well it is a fact that cannabis is an all natural anti inflamatory so if vaporized not smoked it actually treats asthma naturally. As it does for many medical conditions. I also read a while ago that this young kids other minor scrapes with the law were in his teens when he was having an extremely hard time with life because of his life threatening allergies his mother said he was so allergic to things he could literally die if even kissed someone who had recently eaten anything he is allergic to. the severity of his condition caused depression, despair, acting out so had a couple minor scapes thats it. Then he found cannabis and it changed his life for the better then with our screwed up corrupt laws about marijuana he gets victimized for that and for god sake a midemeanor he died for a misdemeanor offense for a drug that is the safest on the planet. And we all should feel guiltyy becaue we paid for it with our tax dollars. When we let politicians continue this abuse with these senseless corrupt laws we are guilty as well…

  • Brian

    Screw you Joe, IT'S A WEED CHARGE!! Obviously people smoke it, I smoke it. We are all people and all make mistakes, it's legal you dipshit so obviously it's not that bad. Quit being a stuck up, snobby a***hole as if you have never done anything wrong, hipocritical PRICK. You probably have a shady past yourself and we all have skeletons in our closet. Poor kid, you need to grow a heart and have some sympathy for him.

  • intheknow

    I really hope that the feds are gonna get in on this folks. There have been 10 deaths since 2010 at SCC. The Corrections Officers have been told to 'be sensitive to potential legal cases' since this kid died.

    Still…..there are sick and I mean SICK C.O.'s at SCC…not all of em but they ALL back eachother and lie their asses off to cover for the other guys ass. Most people just dont want to and wont accept that the men (and women) in those nice black uniforms can be a seriously twisted bunch. Sure, they see ugly people in there and they have to be harsh much of the time. But folks, ugh…..you would not believe the even illegal stuff going on in that jail with some of the C.O.'s.

    I would love to see a sting done where a half dozen people..in the interest of community service, get them selves put in there for a 10day stretch and document the crap that goes on. Would be a super SUPER whistle blower story.

  • Kelly

    Lord Jesus pray for the ignorant people who posted such a comment..
    Who are you to say his young intelligent young man whom never hurt anyone. Deserved to die..
    He died in a cell begging pleading for help , while 4 officers stood by and watched!!!!!!! The officers are there to ensure safety to ALL!
    THIS IS THERE SWORN DUETY!
    To be so ignorant makes we question who is in charge of our safety!

    Who is training the police we trust to up hold our safety.. we all know shit runs down Hill. The commanding officers should be in question ! Why would your staff ignore an emergency and just wave it on.. This is a learned action from there SUPERIORS!!!!
    Disregarding there job descriptions and allowed to do so !!!! Michaels death will weigh on there heads longer than any of us could imagine . Sad! So because the guards on duty didn't follow emergency rules they deserve to be haunted with the death of Michael. This is how your world works right you ignorant pig….
    God be with Michaels family . We pray Michael passing leave him a MARTYR.. Lord forgive those involved for they no not what they do.

  • Jennifer

    To quote Chris Williams (serving 5 years for being a licensed grower in Montana) "There is a very funny thing that happens in any jail or prison. Our keepers, the guards, very quickly divide into two ranks. The first rank are guards that still view, think of, and treat us like humans. The second rank considers us animals. Even worse than that, the second rank thinks of us as an animal which had a choice to be human, and chose animal. So we are treated worse than I would treat my dog. any time in jail brings to the reasonable observer a fast reality of how the Germans convinced an entire country that a subculture should be exterminated from the Earth. What I am witness to now is the beginning of such an operation."
    Everyone here who has a callous response to Michael Saffioti's death should be ashamed. You can count yourselves among the second rankers.

  • oneindependent

    Jennifer your so right, unfortunately there is a deep split in who chooses any type of law enforcement job.
    There are the true oath upholders who are human and know how to separate personal feeling that of course when they have to deal with some of the subhumans who are criminals the system, scociopaths, murderers, molesters, the truely inhuman that do have to be dealt with as well as the non violent ones who simply made a mistake they are paying for. The good LEO knows how to deal with all they encounter in the system with class, dignity and style and care. The other type that go into this line of duty as a LEO are the same as some of the worst criminal because they themselves are sociopathic narcissists who get off on a legal way to inflict pain, harm, and torture on others period.

  • Erin

    I had to go to jail once over a BS charge, but anyways… I have Cronhs disease very bad, and eatin anything acidic or dairy during a flare up will cause me to well you know…Go go go go go . Well guards refused to give me anything other than milk or OJ one day for breakfast so i drank my milk and alot of water. It made me so sick. I used all my toliet paper in an hour. I asked for some more and the guards laughed at me and told me i could have more tomorrow. I went all day going to the bathroom with no toliet paper and the next day didn't get any, nor did i get a shower. I hate king county. They are all ass holes.