71-Year-Old Inmate in Sheriff’s Custody Dies of Heart Attack at Oceanside Hospital

San Diego County Sheriff patch
A San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy’s patch. Courtesy of the department

A man in sheriff’s custody died at a northern San Diego County hospital over the weekend, authorities reported Monday.

A nurse found Donald Altmark, 71, unconscious and unresponsive at Tri-City Medical Center about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Medical staffers tried in vain to revive him before pronouncing him dead.

An autopsy revealed that Altmark died of a heart attack, Lt. Joseph Jarjura said.

“As is the protocol for all in-custody deaths, the sheriff’s Homicide Unit will conduct a thorough investigation,” the lieutenant said.

Altmark had been in custody since Aug. 9, when he was arrested in San Diego on suspicion of indecent exposure.

Three weeks ago, he was transferred to the Oceanside hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered in a fall while in jail.

“We extend our sympathies to the Altmark family and (others) affected by his death,” Jarjura said. “A sheriff’s family-liaison officer will support the family as they deal with the loss of (their) loved one.”

City News Service contributed to this article.