OAKLEY -- A man arrested by Oakley police Friday on charges of being drunk in public died the next day after collapsing in a Martinez jail, a sheriff's spokesman said.
Just before 6 p.m. Friday police were called to the 3300 block of Main Street, where they found the man lying in some bushes, Oakley Police chief Bani Kollo said.
The 62-year-old man, believed to be a transient, was arrested and taken to a cell in the county jail, Contra Costa County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.
When officers found him, the man could hardly stand, smelled of alcohol and didn't appear able to care for himself, Kollo said.
"It's not always in our best interest to book people for being drunk in public; if you can find someone to care for him, or if you think you can just get him to go home, that can be preferable," Kollo added. "But this guy, clearly he was intoxicated enough that we didn't think he'd be able to care for himself."
At about 2:15 a.m. Saturday, jail nurses were checking on the man, and as he walked to the nurse's station, he collapsed and briefly lost consciousness, Lee said. The man was taken to Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, where he died at about 10:30 p.m.
The man's name was not released, pending notification of family. The Contra Costa Sheriff's Office is considering the incident an "in-custody death," which means it will be investigated in a similar fashion to an officer-involved shooting, Lee
An autopsy Monday found that the man died as a result of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, Lee said.