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Hilo man dies while in police custody

MEDIA RELEASE

A 47-year-old Hilo man died Saturday, Nov. 29 while in police custody, according to a written statement released by the county Police Department.

The man was found unresponsive within a cell at the Hilo police cellblock at approximately 3 p.m. Fire/rescue personnel were summoned immediately, but he could not be revived. 

The decedent was transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His death has been classified as an unattended death;   an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death. 

The decedent had been taken into custody at 9:50 a.m. the previous day. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal trespass and third-degree theft. He had been unable to post $1,000 bail and was placed into a single occupancy cell. 

An investigation is being conducted by detectives assigned to the Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section. In addition, a standard administrative investigation is also being conducted by the internal affairs division to determine if department policies and procedures were adhered to surrounding the circumstances of the decedent’s confinement.

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