Manhattan Court Visit Turns Deadly for Rikers Inmate

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A sign of Rikers Island, where IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be held, is pictured in Queens, New York on May 16, 2011. A New York judge denied IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn bail on Monday, despite an offer from his defense team to put up $1 million in cash and surrender all his travel documents. The judge ordered the IMF chief detained, two days after he was pulled off a plane and accused of trying to rape a Manhattan hotel chambermaid. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/2011 AFP

The strangest thing about a blind, unsteady Rikers Island inmate's death after falling down some stairs during a visit to the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building is just how little the family of the dead man, 51-year-old Apolinar C. Solis, has been able to learn about it. The cause of death is still under investigation, the New York Times reports. "It is still unclear where in the courthouse Mr. Solis fell, if he was being escorted individually or with a group of other inmates, and if he got to his hearing." Solis, arrested last month on drug possession charges, had been in Rikers for a month, and his family is worried he wasn't treated with enough care. In a place where brawls over grilled-cheese sandwiches can last an hour, that's an understandable concern.