San Bernardino County officials investigate in-custody death of inmate from Apple Valley

·4 min read
A 33-year-old man from Apple Valley, who was in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, has died.
A 33-year-old man from Apple Valley, who was in custody at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, has died.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the in-custody death of a 33-year-old inmate from the High Desert who was under medical care.

An autopsy will be conducted by the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office to determine the cause of death of William Enyart from Apple Valley, who died at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

On Monday, deputies at the detention center responded to an unresponsive inmate, identified as Enyart.

Deputies and jail medical staff performed CPR for several minutes on Enyart before Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced him deceased.

The Specialized Investigations Division also responded and assumed the investigation.

Deputies from the Apple Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Enyart on July 27 for resisting an executive officer after responding to a call for service.

Enyart was first booked at the High Desert Detention Center and later transferred to the WVDC for medical care.

Enyart’s death came nearly 10 days after the in-custody death of a 38-year-old man, who died two days after his arrest and booking at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto.

Sheriff’s officials reported that on July 23, a deputy and nurse assigned to the HDDC were conducting morning medical checks when they discovered an inmate unresponsive in his cell.

CPR was rendered to the inmate, and paramedics were requested. Despite life-saving measures, the inmate was pronounced dead by paramedics, authorities said.

The Sheriff's Specialized Investigations Division responded and began conducting an investigation. The cause and manner of death are pending a coroner’s autopsy.

The dead person's identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The deceased was arrested by Hesperia Sheriff’s Station deputies and booked at the HDDC

Other in-custody deaths

There have been several in-custody deaths since September 2021, sheriff’s officials reported, including:

  • On July 9, deputies at the detention facility in Rancho Cucamonga found Guadalupe Gonzales, 33, of San Bernardino on his bed and unresponsive, sheriff’s officials said.

  • On July 6, deputies at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto discovered inmate Kyle Medlen, 52, of Barstow unresponsive in his cell, sheriff’s officials reported.

  • On July 4, deputies and medical staff at the WVDC provided medical aid to inmate Frank Olivas, 71, of Placentia after he intentionally fell from the second floor of a housing segment,

  • Juan Sanchez, 51, of Victorville, an inmate in custody at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, died on Feb. 5, 2022, at Victor Valley Global Medical Center in Victorville after he tested positive for COVID-19.

  • On Dec. 2, 2021, Gary Victor was transported from the West Valley Detention Center to ARMC, where he was later admitted into the ICU for multiple health problems, including COVID-19. He was pronounced dead on Dec 13, 2021.

  • Brian Alberts, 43, of Apple Valley, was found dead on Sept. 7, 2021, in his West Valley Detention Center cell.

  • Isaiah Hernandez-Sanchez, 29, of Barstow died on Sept. 15, 2021, in his cell at West Valley Detention Center. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and suffered from severe mental illness, his family said.

  • Russell Garcia, 56, of Fontana, died in September 2021 after suffering a medical emergency.

Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics released its “Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons" report that presents detailed statistical tables from 2000 to 2019 on mortality in local jails. A few highlights from the December 2021 report include:

  • In 2019, there were 1,200 deaths in local jails, a more than 5% increase from 2018 (1,138 deaths).

  • The local jail mortality rate in 2019 was 167 deaths per 100,000 inmates, up 11% from 2000 (151 per 100,000).

  • At 49 deaths per 100,000 inmates, suicide was the leading single cause of death for jail inmates in 2019.

  • A total of 553 jail inmates died from illness in 2019, including 294 from heart disease.

  • The 184 deaths in local jails due to drug or alcohol intoxication in 2019 was the highest recorded in the 20 years that the bureau has collected mortality data, up slightly from 180 in 2018.

This investigation into Enyart’s death is ongoing. Anyone with information on the incident is urged by the Sheriff’s Department to contact the Specialized Investigations Division at 909-890-4908.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous should contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or go to wetip.com.

Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Inmate dies, latest of multiple San Bernardino County in-custody deaths