Sheriff Skinner said that the police had taken Mr. Scott to the county jail shortly before 6:30 p.m. “While in the booking area, Mr. Scott exhibited some strange behavior,” he said. “Several detention officers tried to secure him to the restraint bed, and during the process used O.C. spray once, and also placed a spit mask on his face.”

O.C. spray — its formal name is oleoresin capsicum — can also be referred to as pepper spray. Sheriff Skinner described a spit mask as “a mask that fits over one’s head. It has a net on it in order to keep spittle from being spit on another person.”

The sheriff said that Mr. Scott had become unresponsive around 10:30. He added that the Texas Rangers, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening, were examining video footage of the episode.

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