Death of Vista inmate under investigation

VISTA, Calif. — Investigators sought Wednesday to determine what led to the death of an inmate this week at the Vista Detention Facility.

Deputies responding to a panic alarm at the South Melrose Drive jail about 10 p.m. Tuesday found the 36-year-old man inside a day room in apparent medical distress, according to sheriff’s officials.

“The man did not appear injured, but as deputies entered the module to help (him), he became unresponsive,” Lt. Rich Williams said. “CPR was initiated, and the man was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 10:30 p.m.”

The county Medical Examiner’s Office was called in to determine the cause and manner of the inmate’s death.

The man, whose name was withheld pending family notification, was in custody on suspicion of probation violation and being a felon in possession of tear gas and a leaded cane, Williams said. The latter illegal item is defined as a staff, walking stick or similar object weighted expressly for use as a bludgeoning weapon.