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Inmate dies in Elizabeth, NJ police holding cell after he reported feeling unwell

Posted: 3:00 PM, Sep 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-25 15:00:26-04

ELIZABETH, NJ — A 58-year-old man died while in police custody in Elizabeth less than 24 hours after he reported feeling unwell, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday.

The man, who has not yet been identified, was arrested Sept. 19, officials said. He allegedly started a small fire in a dumpster outside a Morris Avenue restaurant on Sept. 18.

Around 10:40 a.m. on Sept. 19, while in police custody, the man said he wasn’t feeling well, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The hospital said the man was medically stable and he re-entered police custody just before 2 p.m.

He was found  unresponsive in an Elizabeth Police Department holding cell around 4 a.m. on Sept. 20, officials said. Officers and responding medical professionals rendered emergency aid, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene approximately 15 minutes later.

Officials have not yet released the man’s identity pending family notification.