Transient Dies While in Custody of Police

A49-year-old transient, taken into custody Sunday night while seemingly drunk outside a Van Nuys liquor store, died of an apparent heart attack shortly after arriving at the Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys Station, police said Monday.

The man, whose name was being withheld until relatives could be notified, was pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday at Valley Medical Center, said Bill Gold, spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office. He said the victim apparently died of natural causes. An autopsy is scheduled for today, he added.

According to Sgt. Ike Langsam, two uniformed patrol officers responding to a report of a disturbance found the victim, unconscious and apparently intoxicated, on the sidewalk outside Tori Liquors, 7300 S. Sepulveda Blvd. City paramedics pronounced him fit to transport, Langsam said.

The victim collapsed inside the station as he was being taken to jail, Langsam said. One officer applied cardiopulmonary resuscitation for about 15 minutes and revived a heart beat, Langsam said. Paramedics took the victim to the medical center, Langsam said.

As is customary with in-custody deaths, the case is being investigated by the robbery homicide division, police said.

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