A Longview man died at the Cowlitz County Jail on Sunday, becoming the fifth person to die in the jail’s custody in the past two years.
Jack Lawrence Brese, 55, was in a medical unit this weekend for unknown reasons with several other inmates, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. The inmates noticed the man was not breathing and called jail staff.
Staff were unable to revive Brese prior to further medical help arriving.
Authorities said there were no signs of foul play; an autopsy was scheduled for late Tuesday evening.
Brese had been arrested Thursday on suspicion of meth possession as part of a drug raid on the 400 block of 24th Avenue that saw five other people taken into custody as well. He’d been convicted of drug offenses in the past.
He was known as “Bicycle Jack” for his bike-fixing abilities, one friend of Brese’s said Monday, adding that “a lot of people are hurting right now.”
Star Marie Johnson, kitchen manager at Community House on Broadway, said she had known Brese for about 10 years. “He was one of the reasons I decided to get clean off drugs, and he helped me when I was homeless. He’s done that for a lot of people.”