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Inmate dies at San Diego Central Jail

Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 20:14:26-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities Tuesday were working to determine what led to the death of an inmate at the San Diego Central Jail.

Deputies conducting a security check at the Front Street detention center found 26-year-old Ivan Ortiz of San Ysidro unconscious in his cell about 3:45 p.m. Monday, according to sheriff's officials.

``Deputies and medical staff performed lifesaving measures until paramedics arrived and transported Ortiz to the hospital,'' Lt. Michael Blevins said.

Physicians pronounced Ortiz dead about 4 1/2 hours later.

Ortiz had been arrested by San Diego police last June on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and felony vandalism. A criminal complaint alleges that he attacked two people last June 6 with a skateboard, and attempted to kill one of the victims, though specific details on the alleged attack were unavailable.

He also faced two counts of assault with a deadly weapon -- a skateboard -- as well as three counts of felony vandalism regarding alleged incidents on May 10 and June 9, and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

At the time of his death, he was being housed alone in a psychiatric observation cell.

The county Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of Ortiz's death.

The sheriff's Homicide Unit also was called in to investigate, which is standard in cases of in-custody fatalities.

``Our response is not an indication of foul play or suspicious circumstances,'' the lieutenant noted.