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Cause of death in Vegas police custody being investigated

July 12, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities in Las Vegas are investigating the death of a 35-year-old man who police say fought with people after crashing a vehicle at a gas station and became unconscious before arriving in custody at jail for booking on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The Clark County coroner said Monday the cause of Rashad Straughter’s death was not immediately determined and his hometown was listed as unknown. Blood toxicology tests can take several weeks for results.

Police Officer Misael Parra, a Las Vegas police spokesman, said there was no immediate plan for a departmental briefing about the circumstances of Straughter’s arrest and death.

A statement from the department said officers were called to the service station about 8 a.m. Sunday by a 911 caller reporting the driver of the vehicle that crashed was fighting with customers inside the store.

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Straughter was taken into custody “without incident,” the statement said, but became “unresponsive” before arriving with officers at Las Vegas City Jail. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

The officers involved were not immediately identified and their job status was not disclosed.

Officers are usually placed on paid leave following in-custody deaths, pending completion of departmental and Clark County district attorney’s office investigations.