UPDATE: Man who Died in Fort Smith Police Custody Identified


Arkansas State Police are investigating a death after a person died in Fort Smith Police custody on Friday, April 19.

According to a Fort Smith Police Department Facebook post, police made an arrest of an individual who died while in their custody.

Darrell Hays, 51, of Fort Smith, died while being booked into Sebastian County Detention Center, according to an Arkansas State Police press release.

Fort Smith officers at around 12:30 AM initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle near the intersection of Towson Avenue and Fresno.  

Hays was a passenger in the vehicle and was arrested based on an outstanding warrant and the possession of drug paraphernalia discovered during the course of the traffic stop.

Local police transported Hays to the Sebastian County Detention Center where he began to exhibit symptoms of being in medical distress.  Lifesaving measures were begun and emergency medical personnel responded to the detention center to transport Hays to an area hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

Hays’ body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for determination of a manner and cause of death.

Arkansas State Police will continue to investigate. 

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