An overdose of methamphetamine killed a Stanislaus County Jail inmate who died while in custody in late August, sheriff's officials announced Friday afternoon.
Manuel Dante Dent, 27, of Modesto died of meth intoxication, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. An autopsy showed that Dent had swallowed a bag made of plastic wrap and believed to be filled with drugs. Toxicology results determined the drugs caused Dent's death.
Modesto police said Dent swallowed the small bag as he tried to escape from officers shortly before his arrest Aug. 26. The officers caught up to Dent, but he put a bag inside his mouth, said Sgt. Brian Findlen.
He said the officers placed a Taser gun directly against Dent's skin to prevent him from ingesting the bag. The technique is called "drive-stun mode" and used to apply momentary pain and achieve compliance from a suspect, Findlen said. The Taser applies a short shock, but the darts are not fired.
The officers arrested Dent on suspicion of possession of heroin in liquid form, destruction of evidence, resisting arrest and violating probation.
Police took Dent to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he was medically cleared before he was booked at the county's downtown Modesto jail.
Undersheriff Bill Heyne said Dent was awaiting his arraignment hearing and lying on the bed in his cell at 6:09 a.m. Aug. 27 when the jailers found him unresponsive.
Heyne said sheriff's deputies and jail medical staff started CPR procedures. Dent was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.