A shoplifting suspect died Wednesday night in Coeur d’Alene after he was held on the ground by a loss prevention officer from a nearby grocery store, police said.
The 35-year-old man was pronounced dead at 11:13 p.m. at Kootenai Health. The Coeur d’Alene Police Department is withholding his identity, pending notification of next of kin.
According to a police news release, officers responded to U.S. Highway 95 and Kathleen Avenue at 10:35 p.m. for an initial report of two men fighting.
Police were advised that the loss prevention officer from Super 1 Foods had detained a male shoplifter, and they found the suspect unresponsive on the ground.
Police officers and a Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputy quickly began performing CPR on the man, police said. Medics arrived and the man was taken to Kootenai Health.
The security officer told police the suspect came into the store with a woman and shoplifted items. He said he attempted to detain the suspect outside the store, but that the man fled on foot. The security officer chased the suspect and caught him in the area of Sunset Motors, where he attempted to hold onto him.
Witnesses said the suspect fought to get away. Preliminary information indicates the security officer held onto the suspect and put him on the ground, police said. The suspect asked to be let up and the security officer did so. He became combative again and the officer put him back on the ground, where the suspect became lethargic while police responded to the scene.
Witnesses said it didn’t appear that the security officer used excessive physical force while trying to detain the man, police said.
Information obtained from the woman who was with the suspect indicated that he may have been under the influence of illegal drugs at the time.
A preliminary cause of death will be released after an autopsy.
The Super 1 chain of grocery stores is owned by the McIntire family of Hayden. Founder Ronald McIntire is the mayor of Hayden.
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