Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Man dies shortly after being booked into main Santa Barbara County Jail

Authorities are investigating the mysterious death of a man shortly after he was booked into the Santa Barbara County Main Jail.

Deputies say man had talked about suicide, so was placed in special safety cell.

Authorities are trying to figure out what led to the death of a man just after he was booked into Santa Barbara County’s Main Jail.

Jonathan Thomas was arrested Tuesday night by Santa Maria Police following a domestic violence incident. He was taken to the jail in Santa Barbara early Wednesday morning.

Jail officials say before and while he was being booked the 45-year-old man talked about suicide. They say he was deemed a danger to himself, and was taken to a special single occupant safety cell. As another precaution, deputies removed his clothes.

He was placed face down on the floor, and his handcuffs removed. But, deputies noticed a few minutes later, he wasn’t moving. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. An autopsy is pending.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.