CASA GRANDE — An 18-year-old man died in police custody over the weekend while waiting to be booked into the Pinal County jail.
The teenager was arrested by the Casa Grande Police Department on Saturday on suspicion of shoplifting and fraud at Walmart. He was allegedly using a receipt found in the parking lot to try to return an item in exchange for cash.
The suspect, whom CGPD declined to identify, was interviewed and placed in a detention cell at the city Public Safety Facility to await transportation to the Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence.
The Casa Grande police station has a number of holding cells where suspects can be detained for a certain amount of time before they’re moved to the jail.
When officers later opened his cell, they found the suspect unresponsive and initiated life-saving measures. Paramedics were called to the police station on Val Vista Boulevard at 7 p.m., public records show, and pronounced him deceased.
CGPD said the cause of death is unknown and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office will investigate the incident. CGPD had no further information to release immediately.