Saturday, May 25, 2024

Texas Rangers investigating death of man in Denton police custody

The Texas Rangers launched an investigation Wednesday into a Denton Police Department in-custody death.

About 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a reported disturbance at a hotel in the 600 block of South I-35E, where the caller said they heard glass breaking in a hotel room and a male subject seemed “out of it,” according to a Denton PD news release. Officers had just made contact with the same subject about 20 minutes earlier because he called 911 to report someone trying to get into his hotel room, but when officers arrived to that initial call, he said he was fine and didn’t need assistance, so the officers left.

When officers arrived to the second call, they saw two hotel room windows were broken and a mattress and glass had been thrown out onto the sidewalk below. The same male subject, who was alone in the room, was yelling incoherently and asking for help. Officers requested medics respond. Hotel staff gave officers a key to the room and said they wanted the man removed from the property and charged with criminal mischief. When the officers opened the door, the man picked up a piece of a broken bed frame and came at them, so they left the room to de-escalate the situation, according to the police news release.

After more than a half-hour of negotiations, officers entered the room when the man seemed to have calmed down. He was lying on the bed, sweating profusely, telling the officers to shoot him. He was placed in handcuffs and a leg restraint because he was trying to kick the officers.

The man then experienced a medical episode and became unresponsive, according to police. The medics transported him to a local hospital, where he died. His identity has not been released, as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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