Man Arrested for Methamphetamine Possession Dies After Being in Police Custody

A suspect who required medical attention while he was in the custody of Long Beach police died after going into medical distress at a local hospital. 

According to Long Beach Police Department, 43-year-old Rolando Sanchez died Tuesday, April 15, five days after he was arrested on April 10 for possession of methamphetamines in the area of 25th Street and Baltic Avenue. Sanchez was booked in Long Beach City Jail and was awaiting arraignment when jail staff making rounds noticed him acting abnormally. 

“Although awake, he was unresponsive to questions about his behavior,” a press release about the incident states. “A nurse was called in to assess his condition and a decision was made to have paramedics transport him to the hospital for further evaluation.”

At the hospital, Sanchez went into medical distress for unknown reasons and after being released from custody, his treatment was continued by hospital staff. Sanchez died last Tuesday night around 10PM. 

Because he was still in jail when his medical issues began, Sanchez’s passing is being considered an in-custody death and investigations by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office and the Long Beach Police Department’s Homicide Detail are underway. 

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Sarah Bennett is a contributor to the Hi-lo and the editor-at-large at the Long Beach Post. She is also a professor at Santa Ana College where she was once a student before transferring to USC to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sarah has written about music, art, food and beer in local, national and international publications for over a decade. An L.A. native and longtime resident of Long Beach, she is the co-founder of Long Beach Zine Fest and managing editor at theLAnd magazine. She never sleeps.