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Two dead in custody of L.A. County sheriff's deputies

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L.A. County sheriff's detectives investigating the deaths of a man and woman who were in deputies' custody
Man dies in LA sheriff's custody after deputies detain him; woman dies in unrelated in-custody incident

Homicide detectives are investigating the unrelated deaths Saturday of a man and woman who were in the custody of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, authorities said. 

In the first incident, an unidentified man whom sheriff’s deputies had struggled to detain outside a home in Lancaster died after he became unresponsive in the back of a patrol car.

Deputies had responded about 4:15 a.m. Saturday to a “disturbing the peace” call at a home in the 40500 block of 163rd Street East in Lancaster, where the man had been running water from a garden hose, speaking incoherently and yelling at residents inside, sheriff’s officials said.

"It was a late hour, his behavior was odd and he displayed some symptoms that were indicative of someone that might be under the influence” of drugs, said Lt. Steve Jauch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies struggled to handcuff the man, Jauch said. Ultimately they were able to get the man’s hands behind his back, handcuff him and put him in the back seat of a patrol car. But they were fearful that the man would kick out the windows, so they used a hobble restraint to bind his legs, Jauch said.

The man became unresponsive while inside the car, he said. Deputies called paramedics, removed him from the patrol car, took off his handcuffs and administered CPR, Jauch said.

They were not able to revive him. When paramedics arrived, they pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Sheriff's officials did not immediately release the name of the dead man. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has yet to release his identity, pending notification of their next of kin.

In the second incident, Jenna Coleman, 27, died as she was being held in a jail cell at the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station on drug possession charges, Jauch said.

A jailer doing a routine check of the cell she was sharing with two other women found Coleman unresponsive on a lower bunk, he said. Paramedics were called to the cell where they pronounced her dead at 12:08 p.m.

“At this point the cause of death is unknown, and there was nothing that was obvious during our preliminary investigation,” Jauch said.

Coleman had been arrested earlier in the week on drug possession charges, he said.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

9:39 p.m.: This post has been updated to identify the woman who died in a jail cell and add additional details about both incidents.

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