A man who gouged out his own eye while in jail is suing Rio Grande County saying jailers failed to adequately protect him from himself.

The Denver Post reports (dpo.st/2gSxfFU) Gordon Sawyers' lawsuit alleges that while he was under suicide watch — which calls for cell checks every 15 minutes — no one checked on him for three hours one night in early December, during which he gouged out his right eye.

Sawyers had been arrested on Nov. 18, 2015 for allegedly burning down an art gallery to cleanse it of witches.

The lawsuit says Sawyers' psychiatrist told jailers that Sawyers was suffering from severe mental illness and should be watched carefully because his delusions were likely to intensify.

The lawsuit also names Sheriff Brian Norton. He declined to comment, saying he hadn't seen the lawsuit.


Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com