Sheriff's deputies investigating in-custody death after a medical emergency

OILDALE, Calif. - Kern County Sheriff's Office detectives are investigating an in-custody medical emergency that resulted in death.

The incident started on the 600-block of Francis Street in Oildale at about 6:30 a.m.

Deputies said there were reports of 27-year-old Thomas Smoot yelling for help.

The deputy was able to handcuff Thomas Smoot without using any force. Deputies determined Smoot was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics and placed him under arrest, official said. 

While a deputy was transporting Smoot to the Downtown Jail he noticed Smoot appeared to be in medical distress.  The deputy stopped his vehicle in the 800 block of North Chester Avenue and began performing basic life support procedures.
Kern County Fire and Hall Ambulance arrived on scene a short time later.  Smoot was transported to Memorial Hospital by ambulance where he pronounced dead at about 7:34 AM.
An autopsy is scheduled to determine the manner and cause of death.


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