Inmate death ruled natural

Inmate death ruled natural
Los Angeles Coroner removes the body of an LA County Sheriff Jail inmate that died following a procedure at Burbank based DaVita Dialysis Center on San Fernando Boulevard.
(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A 58-year-old male inmate from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles who died Tuesday while getting medical treatment in Burbank was identified as Thomas Chu of Rosemead, officials said Friday.

Coroners officials so far have ruled it a natural death, but toxicology reports are pending to determine the exact cause of death, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eduardo Hernandez said.

Burbank firefighter paramedics responded to the DaVita dialysis center in the 1200 block of North San Fernando Boulevard at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday after Chu became unconscious prior to leaving, police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.


The sheriff’s department has a contract with DaVita to service inmates. The contract with DaVita began in 2006, according to Capt. Mike Parker, of the Sheriff’s Dept.

The department uses several dialysis centers and it was not immediately clear if Chu was only treated in Burbank.

“It’s unclear how long he had been treated there at this point,” Hernandez said of DaVita.

In February, Chu was arrested on suspicion of mayhem and attempted murder of a family member, Hernandez said.


Vince Hancock, of DaVita’s corporate office in Denver, said federal privacy laws prevented from discussing specific clients.

“We do help serve the inmate population in the area, and we do have an agreement in place with law enforcement authorities,” he said.

As of December, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 1,809 dialysis facilities in the U.S., serving approximately 142,000 patients, according to the firm’s website.