A detainee died Sunday in Cobb County Sheriff’s Office custody, hours after attacking deputies when brought into the jail the night before, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation began an investigation at the request of Sheriff Craig Owens, and next of kin were notified Sunday afternoon. Authorities had not named the detainee as of Sunday night.
Cobb County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Saba Long said the man was either being transported to the hospital or had arrived at the hospital when he died. He was not inside the jail at the time of his death, she said.
The detainee, who died just before 9:40 a.m., was placed in a holding cell for intake Saturday evening when he “became destructive and combative and attacked deputies, causing them injuries,” a sheriff’s office news release states. Authorities say use of a substance could explain his behavior.
“Given the detainee’s aggressive behavior towards the deputies and medical staff and the sheer force with which he attacked them, there is reason to believe he may have been under the influence of a substance,” according to the release.
The sheriff’s office is awaiting results of a pathology report. The man was originally brought in on a criminal trespassing charge. No other details have yet been released.
Sunday’s death is the second under Owens’ watch, since he took office as sheriff in January.
The first was an apparent suicide last month. The inmate died on April 29, a day after his suicide attempt, according to authorities.
In that instance, the hospital’s ethics committee agreed to a do-not-resuscitate order “given the nature of his medical condition,” Long said at the time.
Owens unseated longtime Sheriff Neil Warren in last year’s election after a series of deaths at the detention center under Warren’s watch became a focal point of Owens’ campaign. Owens vowed to improve policies and procedures at the detention center and ask the GBI to look into any deaths among inmates in his custody.