The Kern County Sheriff’s Office released new details Thursday on the in-custody death of Juan Fidel Castro, explaining the use of force was justified.
Castro was arrested by CHP officers on December 8, 2015 for possession of a stolen car and burglary tools, and driving under the influence on a suspended license.
During the booking process, deputies suspected he was under the influence of drugs and put Castro in a “sobering cell”. Multiple officials thought he might be under the influence of PCP.
Castro had to be forced to the floor of the cell after he refused to comply with the rules. He suffered a laceration to the lower lip and was responsive when deputies left the cell.
Later on Castro was unresponsive and taken to the hospital where he died.
An autopsy revealed that Castro had a small bag-like piece of plastic in Castro’s small intestine. Two large plastic bag pieces were also found in his stomach.
Castro also had an extremely high level of methamphetamine in his blood.
The investigation revealed that the force used by deputies in the sobering cell was justified and the autopsy report showed no connection between the use of force and Castro’s death.
There is no criminal liability on the part of the deputies involved.