Man dies after struggling with Memphis Police

A man who threatened suicide, ended up dead while in police custody.

Thursday night, Memphis police were called to a home in the Homewood and Winchester area by Burlington and Northern police.

Police say the man first threatened those Burlington Northern officers then threatened to jump from a railroad trestle onto Winchester Road. Then police arrived.

"Cursed the officers, went running, threatened to hurt themselves, climbed a fence, climbed through razor wire," said Sgt. Vince Higgins with Memphis Police Department.

A special Crisis Intervention Team was called in but police say the man continued to act erratically.

In order to subdue him, he was sprayed with pepper mace then put into a police car.

Higgins added, "tried to break out the windows of the squad car. At that point they got him out, tried to get him subdued at that point he collapsed."

"Medics on the scene said his heart was beating but blood wasn't pumping properly so he was taken to St. Francis hospital where he was pronounced dead.

At this time, police do not know the man's identity. They're looking through missing persons reports for clues.

The five officers who took the man into custody are on routine leave until the medical examiner figures out how he died.


to email George Brown.