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Inmate whose fight with Ariz. CO went viral dies in jail

Matangi Tai passed out while exercising at about 4 p.m.

By Jim Walsh
AZ Central

MESA, Ariz. — An inmate whose fight with a Mesa police officer went viral in a YouTube video in May died Monday after exercising at the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix.

Matangi Tai passed out while exercising at about 4 p.m, said Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He said detention officers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until Phoenix Fire Department paramedics arrived.

Tai, 37, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Enriquez said Tai was a maximum-security inmate because of his history of fighting with police officers. Tai had been placed in the general population and all inmates in the maximum security classification receive an hour a day of exercise.

Tai was exercising by himself at the time he passed out, and it did not appear he had been in an altercation with anyone prior to his death, Enriquez said.

He said Tai’s death is under investigation.

Full story: Inmate whose fight with Mesa officer went viral dies in jail




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