Phoenix police investigate after man dies while in custody
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Police Department has started an investigation into a man’s death after being taken into custody and later found unresponsive in the back of a police vehicle.
Police on Wednesday identified the man as 28-year-old Ramon Timothy Lopez.
Officers responded to reports of a man looking into vehicles and making offensive gestures at a shopping center in the Maryvale area on Tuesday around 10:20 a.m.
Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a department spokeswoman, said when an officer arrived, the suspect ran across traffic and into a nearby convenience store where he threw beverages at the officer. The officer was later able to get the suspect on the ground and take him into custody before two other officers arrived.
The man was eventually subdued and handcuffed after trying to bite and kick officers, police said, adding that a leg restraint was used to keep the man from kicking.
Fortune said the man was placed into a patrol car that was then moved out of the street and into a parking lot. In the parking lot, officers opened the door to speak with the man and noticed he was unresponsive.
The suspect was removed from the vehicle and officers provided him water before he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police did not say how long he was in the car.