VAN BUREN — The Crawford County sheriff attributed a jail inmate’s death Saturday to a drug overdose.
Sheriff Jimmy Damante released some preliminary facts concerning his department’s ongoing investigation into the death of Jacob Allen Jones, 26, of Van Buren via the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page Wednesday.
The state medical examiner confirmed a bag of drugs Jones reportedly swallowed before coming to the jail broke open in his stomach, triggering an overdose, Damante said. However, the Sheriff’s Office won’t know what type of drugs Jones took until it receives toxicology reports.
“The man who died was arrested by Van Buren police on an outstanding warrant,” Damante said. “Camera video shows that, after the suspect was arrested and placed in the back of the cruiser, he removed a bag of drugs and swallowed them in an effort to conceal the drugs. He was booked into the jail and died hours later.”
Damante said Monday that Jones had a medical emergency at the jail Saturday. A deputy went to check on Jones after he didn’t come up to get his tray during a scheduled feeding time and tried to resuscitate him.
Despite Jones reportedly having a slight heartbeat when he was loaded into an ambulance, he was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to Damante. Jones’ body was then sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for examination.
Jones had been booked into the jail Friday afternoon on two counts of failure to appear and one count of obstructing governmental operations, according to the Sheriff’s Office’s online inmate roster. He was being held on a bond totaling $50,240.
Damante also released the Van Buren police vehicle footage he described in his statement Wednesday.
The video shows Jones and another man Damante identified as Jones’ uncle, David Alverson Sr., who had also been arrested, sitting in the back of a police cruiser. Both men are restrained. Jones appears to help Alverson retrieve something Alverson has on his person and passes it to him. After some back and forth, Alverson passes this item back to Jones and the two men are shown putting something in their mouths and swallowing.
Damante said he will continue to provide more information about Jones’ death when he is able to do so.
“As always, if an investigation shows that any of my employees violated our administrative policies, I won’t hesitate to hold them accountable,” Damante said.
Print Headline: Sheriff: Inmate died of drug overdose
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