Suspect dies in custody after swallowing drugs

Suspect dies in custody after swallowing drugs

The Beaumont Police Department reports a suspect died after swallowing an unknown drug during a traffic stop.

According to a news release from BPD, on Tuesday, July 1, at about 10:28 p.m., patrol officers conducted a traffic stop in the 2600 block of Interstate 10 East.  As the officers approached the vehicle, they saw that a driver and three occupants occupied it.  Upon speaking with the occupants, officers saw one of them drop something on the ground.  The item was recovered and officers discovered that it was a pipe used to smoke crack cocaine.  Officers took that person into custody and temporarily detained the others. 

 As the officers spoke with the other occupants, they saw that the driver appeared to have something in his mouth.  Officers told the man to spit out what was in his mouth and he refused.  The man would not comply with instructions, was belligerent, and refused to spit out the object, police report.  A struggle ensued and sometime during the struggle, the man swallowed the object in his mouth.  Officers could see residue in the man’s mouth, and it appeared to them to be crack cocaine.  Officers immediately summoned Beaumont EMS. 

Beaumont EMS arrived and transported the man to a local hospital.  The man was alert and conscious throughout the transport, BPD reports, and remained extremely uncooperative during the transport as well as when he arrived at the emergency room. He refused treatment at the hospital, but then he began to have a seizure. Hospital personnel worked to save the man, but he was pronounced dead at about 12:01 a.m. on July 2. 

Judge Nancy Beaulieu was notified and ordered an autopsy. Detectives from BPD's Criminal Investigations Division and Investigators from Internal Affairs Unit will also conduct an investigation as is customary with any in-custody death. 

The driver was a 32-year-old Beaumont man. Police are not releasing his name at this time to insure his family members have time to notify all their family.