News Story


Pre-Trial Detention Facility: Inmate Death
2/20/2017 4:09:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Inmate Death

Report Number:



Detention Services, Pre-Trial Detention Facility (PTDF)

Date & Time:

February 18, 2017 at 0800 hours

Unit(s) Responsible:

Special Services, Major Crimes Bureau

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(D) Russell Howard Fries

Transient, Simi Valley




On Saturday morning, February 18, 2017, an inmate was found deceased at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility (PTDF).


On February 18, 2017, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Mr. Russell Fries was arrested by the Simi Valley Police Department for Public Intoxication and Obstructing or Intimidating the Business of a Public Agency.  Mr. Fries was seen at a local hospital for a pre-existing medical condition and was evaluated by hospital medical staff prior to being transported to the jail in Ventura.


At approximately 3:30 a.m., Mr. Fries was evaluated by medical staff and was accepted for booking.  Due to his intoxication, Mr. Fries was placed into a sobering cell by himself and monitored by jail staff frequently and consistently throughout the morning.  At approximately 7:30 a.m., Mr. Fries was found unresponsive in the sobering cell by deputies and medical staff.  Emergency aid was immediately rendered and Ventura City Fire personnel and AMR paramedics were summoned to provide more advanced life-saving efforts.  After life-saving efforts proved unsuccessful, Mr. Fries was pronounced deceased at the jail.


Consistent with Sheriff's Office policy regarding inmate deaths, the Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau is currently investigating the incident.  Mr. Fries has been booked multiple times in the recent past for Public Intoxication.  There is no indication of violence or foul play; however, the cause of death is unknown, pending an autopsy by the Medical Examiner.


Prepared by:

Detective Jose Lopez


News Release Date:

February 20, 2017


Media Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Jose Lopez (805) 384-4723



Approved by:

Captain Mark Franke