A 62-year-old man died early Sunday morning in the UCI Medical Center jail ward, where he had been in custody since his arrest in Orange three weeks ago on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said.
The coroner's office listed the cause of death of William Frank Rice of Orange as "apparent natural causes" pending the outcome of toxicological tests, Sheriff's Sgt. Richard Moscowitz said.
Orange Police Lt. Dean Richards said Rice was arrested Feb. 17 at his home after a family quarrel. Rice had been arguing with his wife when her son by a previous marriage, Ty Hyatt, 20, intervened and slapped Rice, Richards said.
Rice then picked up a knife with a six-inch blade and allegedly threatened to kill Hyatt, Richards said, but Hyatt disarmed him, and police were called. Rice was docile when police arrested him, Richards said.