The state attorney generals office has launched a probe into the death of a Bronx man who lost consciousness while in police custody, officials said Wednesday.
Dwayne Pritchett, 48, died of unknown causes two hours after he tussled with cops inside his Jerome Park apartment on Jan. 28.
The Attorney Generals Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit has opened an investigation into the death of Dwayne Pritchett, pursuant to the Attorney Generals authority under Executive Order No. 147, said Amy Spitalnick, spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Were committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation.
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Alotisia Stevens, 42, the mother of Pritchetts 3-year-old son, cheered the news.
I just want justice. I want to know why he is dead, she said.
If that agency (the attorney generals office) can bring that to light, then I will be satisfied.
Pritchetts father had called police to report that his son was acting erratically and had locked himself in a bedroom.
Bronx man dies after trying to grab cops gun while cuffed
Sources said responding officers were in the home at about 4:50 p.m. when Pritchett, who has a history of drug abuse, suddenly opened the door.
Peering into the room, the cops spotted a handgun magazine on the floor, cops said.
They burst inside and struggled with Pritchett.
The police said the deranged man tried to grab a cops gun from his holster, but a witness offered a conflicting account.
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Herman Garment, 68, said Pritchett never made an attempt on an officers gun but he did put up a fierce fight and spit at the cops.
Officers wrestled with the man and cuffed him. Pritchett lost consciousness at some point after he was handcuffed, prompting cops to call paramedics.
The first responders tried to revive Pritchett with CPR and the opioid antidote naloxone as he lay handcuffed on the floor, sources said. They rushed him to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Allen where he died at about 6:45 p.m.
The city medical examiner’s office did not return a request for comment. But as of late last month, it had not yet determined Pritchetts cause of death.
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Gov. Cuomo signed an executive order in 2015 giving Schneidermans office the power to investigate police-involved deaths of unarmed civilians.
The undisputed facts of what happened here, an unarmed handcuffed 48-year-old old man, who dies while in police custody calls out for an independent criminal investigation by the attorney generals office based on the governors executive order, said Stevens lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein. We are pleased the attorney generals office has taken jurisdiction of this matter.