In-Custody Death Investigation Ongoing in Arlington

In-Custody Death Investigation Ongoing in Arlington

The Northern Virginia Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is investigating an in-custody death at the Arlington County Detention Facility. 

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 5, 58-year-old Clyde Spencer, who had been charged with Trespassing on Oct. 2, was found unconscious in the medical unit within the Arlington County Detention Facility. Arlington County Sheriff’s Office deputies and medical staff began resuscitation efforts until the arrival of Arlington County Fire Department medics. He was transported to Virginia Hospital Center where he received medical treatment. His condition did not improve, and he was pronounced deceased at 5:58 p.m.

Spencer had been charged with Trespassing on Oct. 2, 2021 and was being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

An autopsy was conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine cause of death, which was not released. This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

The critical incident response team was formed in January of this year to investigate critical incidents involving law enforcement officers within the cooperating jurisdictions. The team includes experienced criminal detectives, crime scene technicians and commanders from the 11 participating agencies. CIRT is a multi-jurisdictional team designed to provide effective and standardized investigations in critical incidents such as in-custody deaths. Chief Penn requested CIRT to investigate this incident in the interest of promoting transparency and public confidence.

Commonwealth Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti said, “We are diligently working with the CIRT and the ACPD on these cases and hope the community and the families involved understand that we cannot reveal the content of the investigations, and the Virginia rule of professional conduct 3.6 prohibits me from commenting on a pending case.”  

At the completion of a comprehensive, thorough, and impartial investigation, the CIRT will present the facts and evidence to the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.