An investigation is being conducted by the San Diego County coroner's office and the San Diego Police Department's Internal Affairs Division concerning the death of a Southeast San Diego man who lost consciousness after police officers drew a sample of his blood Saturday at police headquarters.
James Augustus Williams, 36, was taken to the emergency room at San Diego Physicians & Surgeons Hospital, then transferred to UC San Diego Medical Center, where he died at 6:53 p.m. without regaining consciousness, Deputy Coroner Dan Maddox said.
Police arrested Williams on suspicion of drug-related charges and drew his blood for testing when he could not produce a urine sample. Williams could not urinate, said his physician, Dr. Thomas Ziegler, because of kidney failure, for which he was being treated. "Williams had a long history of kidney failure and had undergone dialysis treatments for the last 3 1/2 years," Ziegler said. "He also had heart disease and high blood pressure."
Ziegler said Williams had a history of using street drugs intravenously. "He was incarcerated at least six times on charges related to possession and/or sales of drugs and as a result of his repeated injections of dirty, contaminated street drugs he on several occasions developed infections of his dialysis access graft (needle site)."