Indiana shoplifting suspect dies in ambulance after arrest

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 27, 2015 5:26 PM

(Reuters) - Authorities in Indianapolis are investigating the death of a shoplifting suspect who died in an ambulance after twice reporting breathing problems following his arrest, police said.

Police officers called to a clothing store for a reported shoplifting case on Saturday afternoon apprehended the man after he pointed a handgun and ran from the store, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release.

Police officers from Indianapolis and the police department of Cumberland, Indiana, took the man into custody without incident moments later but he then reported having trouble breathing, police said.

An ambulance was called and a medical services technician determined that the man could be transported via jail wagon to an arrest processing center, police said.

When the jail wagon arrived, the man again reported breathing problems and a second ambulance was called. The man's condition worsened and he died in the back of the ambulance, police said.

"We have already launched a full internal investigation and at this time are confident the highest level of response and care was provided," Dr. Charles Miramonti, chief of Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, said in the news release.

The man’s identity was not released. The Marion County Coroner’s Office is investigating the man’s cause of death, police said. No one at the coroner’s office was available for comment on Sunday, according to someone responding for the coroner’s answering service.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Eric Walsh)