A diabetic man arrested by Spokane police died during booking Sunday morning at the Spokane County Jail after he reportedly became uncooperative and jailers used a Taser to help subdue him, then placed him in a restraint chair.
Authorities are withholding the man’s identity and have instituted the regional protocol, which puts another police agency in charge of the investigation. Spokane County corrections deputies placed the man in a restraint chair, where he stopped breathing and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, Deputy Mark Gregory said.
The Washington State Patrol will lead the investigation into the incident that began at 3:17 a.m. Sunday when dispatchers received a call from an adult male who said he had ingested methamphetamine, Trooper Jeff Sevigney said in a news release.
“That individual was difficult to understand” and the dispatcher sent a Spokane police officer to the 2100 block of West Fourth Avenue to check on him, Sevigney said.
“Upon contact, the individual confirmed that he had ingested meth and was diabetic,” Sevigney said.
The unidentified officer called for medics to evaluate the man. As they looked him over, the dispatcher informed the officer that the man had an active warrant for his arrest.
“After the individual was cleared by medics, he was transported to the Spokane County Jail and booked on his outstanding warrant,” said Sevigney, who did not identify the suspected crime that generated the warrant. At about 5 a.m., “the individual became uncooperative in the booking area of the jail.”
Corrections deputies then “used force including the use of a Taser to gain control of the individual who was then placed in a restraint chair,” Sevigney wrote. “Shortly after being placed in the restraint chair the individual lost consciousness.”
Deputies and emergency medical staff began CPR and first aid but were unable to revive the man, who was later pronounced dead.
Sevigney said the man’s autopsy has been scheduled for today.
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