Man dies in custody in Iron County less than 24 hours after release from hospital

Posted at 2:17 PM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-12 16:28:36-05

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Authorities in Iron County are investigating the death of an inmate who went into cardiac arrest less than 24 hours after he was released from a hospital and booked into jail.

St. George News reports the death occurred Tuesday at the Iron County Jail, but the string of events began Monday when the man allegedly barricaded himself inside the manager’s office at a truck stop in Parowan.

The man had come to the area on a Greyhound Bus, and he surrendered to responding officers and made comments that led police to transport him to Cedar City Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

The man threatened suicide while on the way, and police performed “an involuntary commitment” to ensure the man was medically checked out and cleared. Hours later police were called back to the hospital after the man was told he was going to be released and responded by threatening vandalism.

“He didn’t feel safe out in the community and said he would do whatever he had to, to be taken into custody,” Sgt. Jerry Womack of the Cedar City Police Department told St. George News. “We arrested for the safety of the public.”

The man was booked into the Iron County Correctional Facility, where medical staff continued to monitor him. Less than 24 hours later the man went into apparent cardiac arrest and died after attempts to revive him were not successful.

The identity of the deceased has not been released.

Visit St. George News for more on this developing story.