01/17/2001

Autopsy awaited in Las Vegas jail death
[Las Vegas, NV]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(LAS VEGAS) -- Investigators are unsure what caused the death of a 300-pound man who died in a violent struggle with corrections officers at the Clark County Jail, a police spokesman said today.

The results of toxicology tests on Philippe LeMenn, 33, are expected to be available in a couple of weeks, Ray Flynn, chief of detectives in the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, told PoliceOne.com.

LeMenn, a French national who weighed more than 300 pounds, was arrested at a local school at about 9 a.m., Jan. 4, Flynn said. He was allegedly hitting a school bus with his fists and yelling to let the children out.

About nine hours later, LeMenn was pronounced dead at Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Flynn said that LeMenn was put in a disciplinary cell at the jail. When he took his clothes off and put them in the toilet, guards handcuffed him and moved him to an isolation cell.

"When they took one of the handcuffs off, the fight was on," Flynn said.

The entire struggle and LeMenn's collapse was videotaped and has been shown on television. LeMenn's family has reportedly hired a pathologist who determined that his death was caused by a blow to the head, disputing the police version.

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