By Ryan Seals, News-Record.com, Aug. 20, 2009
GREENSBORO — An inmate died at Moses Cone Hospital late Tuesday after a scuffle with a detention officer at the downtown jail in Greensboro, according to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
Ronald Eugene Cobbs, 38, of 1406 Hamlet Place, died after the struggle at 11:46 p.m. Tuesday with a guard in his cell.
The SBI is investigating, which is standard policy in a death that involves an officer.
A guard was trying to recover unidentified contraband from Cobbs’ cell when the inmate resisted and assaulted the officer, the sheriff’s office said.
The guard, who has not been named, initially tried to physically restrain Cobbs before using a Taser on him.
Cobbs was restrained and taken to see the on-duty nurse, a standard policy with use of force at the jail, the sheriff’s office said.
Cobbs became unconscious, and EMS took him to Moses Cone, where he was pronounced dead. His body has been taken to the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine a cause of death.
“This is a very sad event, and I hate it for the family and for the officers,” Sheriff BJ Barnes said.
“I want the public to know and have confidence that everything was done that should have been done, and the investigation will show exactly what happened.
“(The) initial investigation has not shown anything that alarms me or causes me to believe this was anything other than a tragic event.”
Barnes said several officers were involved. None sustained serious injury.
Because of the SBI investigation, Barnes said he could not provide further information.
Cobbs was being held at the jail awaiting trial on charges of kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon and a probation violation. Cobbs’ family said he had been in jail for about a year.
Contact Ryan Seals at 373-7077 or firstname.lastname@example.org