In-Custody Death Investigation

NEWS RELEASE 23-048 - SEPTEMBER 14, 2023

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating the September 13, 2023, death of an in-custody subject following an arrest for drug possession and probation violation.

At 4:55 p.m., Wednesday, September 13, Austin L. Cox, DOB 07/12/91, was arrested in the area of 2222 Dr. Martin Luther King Way after deputies observed what appeared to be a narcotics transaction. A subsequent search of the subject revealed marijuana and THC wax. Cox was also charged with violating the terms of his probation.

While en route to the correctional facility, Cox was observed arching his back to retrieve something from his clothing. The deputy stopped the vehicle and requested another deputy to assist. A plastic bag was found in the suspect's mouth, and a white, powdery substance on his clothing and the car seat. Cox stated to deputies as he was being removed from the vehicle, “It was only cocaine,” and further indicated he hid it in his rectum prior to being stopped by deputies.

Shortly after, Cox presented symptoms of a seizure. Deputies called an ambulance and administered several doses of Naloxone (Narcan) to reverse the effects of a potential overdose. The Sarasota County Fire Department arrived and attempted life-saving procedures. The suspect was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 5:50 p.m.

The case will remain open pending the investigation of the medical examiner and review of additional evidence.