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Public Safety

Man Dies In Custody In Chula Vista

Paramedics at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista, where a man died while in police custody during a Dead & Company concert, July 27, 2016.
10News
Paramedics at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista, where a man died while in police custody during a Dead & Company concert, July 27, 2016.

An investigation was underway Thursday into the death of a man while under arrest on suspicion of public intoxication during a concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.

Venue security personnel asked a man in his late 50s who appeared to be intoxicated to show them his ticket for the performance of the Dead & Company, the latest iteration of the Grateful Dead, after spotting him moving from seat to seat around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a Chula Vista police statement.

The man couldn't produce a ticket and was being escorted toward the exit when a scuffle ensued. Chula Vista police officers working the event were summoned to assist when the man attempted to flee, authorities said.

He was handcuffed, but started "screaming incoherently and acting irrationally" as he was being taken to the venue's security office. Police said he then attempted to run off again and struggled briefly with officers before being detained and ultimately arrested on suspicion of public intoxication. The man was evaluated by paramedics, who determined he was not seriously injured.

Chula Vista police officers were completing paperwork on the arrest when he appeared to fall asleep while sitting upright in a chair. Officers checked on him when he stopped snoring around 8:40 p.m. and found him unresponsive, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at about 9:15 p.m.

The cause of the man's death was not immediately known, and his name has yet to be made public. An autopsy was pending.

The Chula Vista Police Department's Crimes of Violence Unit has launched an investigation into the in-custody death. Police said personnel from the county District Attorney's Office and the police department's Professional Standards Unit were also summoned to investigate, consistent with standard procedure.