Fifth person to die in custody identified

A man who died after a possible medical episode Tuesday while being booked into jail was identified Thursday as James Venters, 42, of Las Vegas.

Venters died after being taken to the Clark County Detention Center by officers with the Taxi Cab Authority.

Las Vegas police said Venters was disputing a fare near 15th and Fremont streets when he was arrested for being “combative.”

Corrections officers tried to revive him at the jail. Paramedics arrived and took Venters to Valley Hospital Medical Center, where he died.

There have been five in-custody deaths this month.

On Jan. 14, shortly after midnight, 51-year-old Ona Sean Grimes died at the county jail after a likely medical episode.

On Jan. 17, 36-year-old Miguel Sarabia-Ortega died at Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center after being arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel in Las Vegas. He was a legal permanent resident, federal officials said. Sarabia-Ortega was first stopped by Las Vegas police on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine pipes.

On Jan. 18, Anthony Barrett, 43, of Las Vegas died after swallowing a bag of cocaine just before police arrested him.

On Saturday, 31-year-old Farouk Hanga-Taylor died after suffering a possible seizure in his cell. He died at University Medical Center.

Hanga-Taylor was arrested in August after he struck and killed a man with his vehicle.

The cause and manner of deaths for all the men will be determined by the Clark County coroner’s office.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.

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