Man dies while in custody of Kern County Sheriff's deputies

OILDALE, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A 27-year-old man died at Memorial Hospital after he was arrested by Kern County Sheriff's deputies for being under the influence of alcohol and narcotics. The man is identified as Thomas Clinton Smoot.

Neighbors on the 600 block of Francis Street in Oildale said they heard a commotion on the street around 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

"I just heard yelling and hollering and like he was out of his head or something," said one woman who did not want to be identified.

According to Kern County Sheriff's investigators, one neighbor observed Smoot rolling around in the front yard of a home and then shortly after, Smoot began doing push-ups.

Deputies arrived and determined Smoot to be under the influence. Smoot was detained, put in a patrol car and was to be transported to the downtown jail. While en route to the jail, Smoot became unresponsive, said sheriff's Lt. Dean Marshall.

"Deputies pulled over near the area of North Chester and Decatur and began life-saving efforts, CPR, and summoned medical aid," said Marshall.

Smoot died at Memorial Hospital around 7:34 a.m. Marshall said Smoot did not resist when he was detained by deputies.

"Other than appearing to be under the influence of something, he was cooperative," said Marshall.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine the manner and cause of death.