MAYS LANDING — Investigators are awaiting toxicology reports to determine why an inmate died in the Atlantic County Jail over the weekend.
Kevin Spencer Peeler, 53, was arrested in Atlantic City early Saturday morning and charged with multiple offenses, including disarming a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, Warden Joseph Bondiskey said.
He did not have details on the arrest. Atlantic City police referred all questions to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating the case.
Bondiskey said Peeler, of Atlantic City, was taken to the hospital before he came into the jail — while still in Atlantic City police custody. He did not say exactly why Peeler received treatment, although a psychological evaluation was given.
Peeler was brought to the jail at 4:46 a.m., records show. He was found unresponsive at about noon. Trained staff responded to the medical emergency, as did emergency workers who were called.
"We don't know what the reason for him passing away was," Bondiskey said. "He wasn't alone for very long. The last time someone saw him was maybe 20 minutes earlier."
An autopsy was inconclusive, Bondiskey said, and they are now awaiting toxicology test results.
There doesn't seem to be anything suspicious about the death, he said. Suicide has been ruled out.
Whenever there is an in-custody death, the Prosecutor's Office looks into it, Bondiskey explained.
No information can be released on an ongoing investigation unless charges are filed, said Madelaine Vitale, the prosecutor's spokeswoman.
In regard to an earlier death in custody, Prosecutor Ted Housel explained that his office is informed of all major incidents at the jail, and investigates those that result in death. Other incidents are investigated by an in-house unit.
In July, following a meeting between Atlantic County freeholders and jail officials, Jail Committee Chairman Joseph McDevitt said the committee was satisfied that all proper protocol was followed regarding two hanging incidents in June — adding that "as of now, we see no reason to go forward with the inquiry until new evidence comes out that directs us."
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