LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County Coroner has ruled the death of a man who died in police custody a homicide. Metro Police said Nicholas Farah, 36, stopped breathing at the Clark County Detention Center on March 31.
Officers arrested Farah for trespassing, obstructing a police officer, and resisting arrest. The incident began when police were called to respond to the La Quinta Inn in the 4900 block of S. Valley View Boulevard.
According to police, employees reported Farah was “acting strangely” while he was hanging out in the business. Metro said officers warned him to leave, but he refused, so he was arrested.
However, Farah “began resisting and became agitated” when officers took him into custody, police said. The officers called for a Code 5 which alerts the detention center that a combative person is being brought in. The Code 5 also results in cameras being activated at the center and requires additional staff to meet and help the officers, Metro Police said in a news conference on April 3.
Farah was placed in a restraint chair when he became uncooperative with officers.
“The officers held Farah in the chair with his head between his legs with his arms stretched up and behind him to adjust the handcuffs to fit Farah’s arms into the cutout in the chair,” Metro Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank said. “After being held in this position for approximately 75 seconds, Farah appeared to stop breathing.”
EMT personnel on scene attempted to render aid, and an ambulance transported Farah to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:59 p.m.
The Clark County Coroner said Farah died due to asphyxia during procedures and methamphetamine intoxication and obesity, manner of death is a homicide.
Two corrections officer and two corrections sergeants were placed on paid administrative leave when the incident occurred.