Two Fort Worth police officers have been placed on administrative desk duty while an investigation is conducted into the death of a suspected prowler who died in the back of their squad car a week ago, Fort Worth police reported.
The man’s death came after he complained about having medical issues while he was handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car on July 26, police said in a news release.
Police had responded to a call of a prowler in the 3300 block of Griggs Avenue at 9:33 p.m. that day. The prowling victim told police that an unknown male armed with a gun was attempting to break into his residence. When officers arrived they encountered a man armed with a pipe, police said.
The two responding officers were able to detain the man without any resistance or incident, but after being placed in handcuffs he complained about having medical issues, police stated.
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The officers put the man into the back of their patrol vehicle, but did not request medical assistance while they conducted a further investigation. They said the man was conscious and responded to officers’ basic questions.
After completing their witness interviews, the officers returned to the patrol vehicle to find the man unresponsive inside.
Officers immediately began applying medical aid and called for an ambulance, police said in the release. The man was later pronounced dead at John Peter Smith Hospital.
Now the officers have been assigned to administrative desk duties while the Fort Worth Police Department Major Case and Internal Affairs Unit conduct a review of the incident, police stated.
The case is in the preliminary stages of being investigated by the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office as well.
Police said they have been in close contact with the man’s family.
“We have been in close contact with the family of the deceased and they have expressed the need for privacy and patience during the investigation. Additional information will be made available as the incident progresses through legal and administrative process,” the news release said.