Santee Man Dies in Deputy Custody

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NBC 7

San Diego County sheriff's deputies have identified a man who died in custody after he was found on the ground near the Walmart shopping center two days before Christmas.

Warren Morris, 51, of Santee died Sunday at 5:11 p.m., according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy was performed to determine the cause of death. The results have not been determined or released, deputies said. 

A deputy on patrol discovered Morris lying on the sidewalk with an open container of alcohol behind the Walmart store on 120 Town Center Parkway just before 3 p.m. on Dec. 23.

The man was so drunk that he couldn't take care of himself so the patrol deputy arrested him for public drunkenness, Lt. Rich Williams said.

Morris began having trouble breathing in the back of the patrol car and an ambulance was called. While the ambulance was en route, the man stopped breathing and deputies performed CPR until paramedics arrived and took over, Williams said.

Morris was taken to a local hospital via ambulance, deputies said, but he was pronounced dead more than two hours after he was found. 

The Sheriff's Homicide Unit is investigating the death as per protocol in any in-custody death.

Anyone with information about this incident can contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. 

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