Man dies in Santa Barbara jail after allegedly failing to register as sex offender

A 62-year-old man died in the Santa Barbara County Jail Friday evening, a couple days after being taken into custody for failing to register as a sex offender, according to the sheriff’s department.

At about 6 p.m., Eduardo Rodriguez approached a custody deputy in a male dormitory and said he was not feeling well. Rodriguez, who was in a wheelchair, appeared to be ill, and the deputy immediately called for jail medical staff.

Rodriguez was wheeled out to the hallway, where his condition worsened, and he became unresponsive. Deputies began performing CPR and called for paramedics. 

Jail medical staff arrived with a defibrillator and placed the pads of the device on Rodriguez. Santa Barbara County fire personnel then arrived and took over life saving efforts.

Emergency personnel failed to resuscitate Rodriguez, who was pronounced dead at approximately 6:41 p.m.

Rodriguez’s death appears to be due to natural causes, according to the sheriff’s department. The county coroner’s office is conducting an investigation into the cause, manner and circumstances of Rodriguez’s death. A final ruling on the death is pending an autopsy, as well as  toxicology and lab results.

Officials describe Rodriguez as a Santa Barbara transient, who was in custody since last Wednesday. Rodriguez was being held without bail for failing to register as a sex offender, which was a violation of his probation, according to the sheriff’s office. 

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