SAN DIEGO — Authorities are investigating the death of a man who was repeatedly pepper-sprayed by San Diego County sheriff’s deputies while in custody.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Friday that the man was arrested Wednesday after deputies answered 911 calls from a home in Vista.

The Sheriff’s Department says the man had difficulty passing a field-sobriety test and was pepper-sprayed after he thrashed, kicked, yelled and slammed his head inside a patrol car.

The department says he was pepper-sprayed again after kicking deputies at the detention center, where he stopped breathing. He was declared dead at a hospital.

The Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating, says the man may have died from an overdose of illegal drugs.

The county coroner’s office also is investigating.

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