Sacto911 blog logo

Oroville man dies in Butte County jail cell after arrest for public intoxication

Published: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 - 5:41 pm

Authorities in Butte County are investigating the death of a 53-year-old Oroville man who was found unresponsive in a sobering cell at the county jail Thursday evening, shortly after he was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication.

Efforts to revive Rick Vermace were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead about 7 p.m., according to a Butte County Sheriff’s Office news release.

A joint investigation of the circumstances of Vermace’s death is being conducted by the Sheriff’s Office and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office.

Sheriff’s officials said a preliminary investigation revealed that officers with the Oroville Police Department arrested Vermace about 5:20 p.m., after he was reported acting strange near a business on Myers Street in Oroville and frightening customers. Booked into jail at 5:31 p.m., he was evaluated by jail medical staff and determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance, but not in need of additional medical care, according to the news release.

Sheriff’s officials said Vermace was placed in a jail sobering cell, alone, and was frequently checked by jail staff members. At 6:29 p.m., a staff member discovered Vermace lying down on the floor, unresponsive and not breathing. Life saving efforts were initiated by jail staff members and continued by paramedic and Butte County Fire personnel until 7:02 p.m., when Vermace was pronounced dead.

Sheriff’s officials said there was no indication that force was used during Vermace’s arrest or brief incarceration, and no visible signs of trauma were found. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

Connect with Sacto911

Sacto911 Archives

Note: The Sacto911 blog switched blog platforms in November 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads


Price Range:
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older