Pattie Pusateri’s eyes tear up at the irony of her son, Gregory Gallaway, 28, dying while in custody at the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville. Pusateri and other family members convinced Gallaway to turn himself in to authorities to get help for his drug problem.
Instead, they were informed that Gallaway was found dead in his cell, last Thursday, Aril 11, and the cause has yet to be determined.
“I feel so bad because if I had not talked him into that he could be out here now,” Pusateri said, as she thought what Greg might be doing if he had not surrendered, “getting higher and higher, it did not matter because he would still be alive.”
Pusateri and her daughter Jessie Gallaway said Greg had been participating in the City of Dunkirk’s Drug Court, with some success, but he relapsed, and knew he would fail his urine test.
When Gallaway, who lived in Dunkirk, spoke of skipping town to avoid being arrested, his family convinced him to turn himself in. Then he would go to jail, but they felt he had his best chance of kicking his drug dependency.
The day after Gallaway turned himself to police in Dunkirk, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office announced a 28-year-old man had died in the county jail at Mayville, the same day the family was informed Gregory was found deceased in his jail cell.
Pusateri said, “We wanted him to go into custody to avoid him dying, so that he would be safe, not on the run, and be cared for, and now he is dead.”
How did Gallaway die? Chautauqua County authorities are not sure, and medical examiners from Erie County have told the family the cause is still under investigation.
Pusateri has hired Williamsville attorney Matthew Albert to get answers to many of their questions, including whether Greg was under a “suicide watch”, and if so, how long did it take deputies in the jail to find him unresponsive?
Albert’s investigation has turned up evidence Gallaway might have had serious medical issues before he was taken to jail.
“It was enough so that his cousin, who had taken him to the courthouse alerted police officers, alerted the drug court liaison he needs medical attention.”
Gallaway’s sister Jessie wondered allowed if officials took her brother’s condition seriously, “Just because you do drugs does not mean your a drug addict and your whole life is ruined and a waste, you are not a waste case. No one should be treated like garbage just because they have done drugs.”
On April 11, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office released a statement which read, “The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 28 year old male inmate at the Chautauqua County Jail. At this time there is no suspicion of foul play.”
News 4 reached out to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office to confirm it was Greg Gallaway that died at the county jail last week, but so far the Sheriff’s office has not responded.
The Sheriff’s announcement did include the following, “The New York State Commission of Corrections has been notified and the investigation is continuing.” The Commission of Correction notification is required by state law.