NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department said Friday it's under investigation for a second restraint-related death, this one involving a drugged, emotionally disturbed man four days before a fatal videotaped chokehold that fueled community outcry and led the department to overhaul its use-of-force training.
The medical examiner's office cited "physical restrain by police" as a factor in the July 13 death of Ronald Singleton, who went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance and died on the way to a hospital. It ruled his death a homicide.
The police department is cooperating with the Manhattan district attorney's office, which is leading the investigation into Singleton's death, a police spokesman said. The district attorney's office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Police said Singleton became irate and combative while riding in a taxi cab around midnight and fought with an officer on foot patrol after exiting near St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Emergency services officers, called in by the patrolling officer, restrained Singleton and placed him in a protective body wrap, police said.
The medical examiner's office said the 45-year-old Singleton was in a state of excited delirium related to severe intoxication from the hallucinogenic drug called PCP or angel dust. It cited heart disease exacerbated by high blood pressure and thickened arteries, as well as obesity, as contributing factors in his death.
Singleton was to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital under the police department's protocol for emotionally disturbed people, police said, but the ambulance rerouted to a closer hospital when he went into cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
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