48-year-old father dies while handcuffed in police custody in the Bronx

Monday, January 29, 2018
Death of Bronx man in police custody under investigation
Derick Waller has the latest on the investigation into the death of a 48-year-old emotionally disturbed man in police custody.

KINGSBRIDGE HEIGHTS, Bronx (WABC) -- The NYPD's Force Investigation Division will look into how a 48-year-old emotionally disturbed man died Sunday after being handcuffed by officers inside his Bronx home.

The 911 came in shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday for a report of an emotionally disturbed person inside a third-floor apartment on Reservoir Avenue in Kingsbridge Heights.

The deceased was identified as Dwayne Pritchett.

Pritchett's 71-year-old father told officers his son had locked himself in a bedroom. Upon their arrival, police said Pritchett opened the door, and they noticed a handgun magazine on the floor and a handgun on the shelf.

Officers handcuffed Pritchett. At that point, they claim he reached for an officer's gun. Pritchett then fell unconscious, appearing to have overdosed on drugs, authorities said. First responders administered Naloxone, but it was unsuccessful.

Pritchett was pronounced dead at New York Presbyterian The Allen Hospital in Upper Manhattan. Now, his family is demanding answers.

"His son's birthday is in three days," sister Shameen Buddington said. "He's not with his child now."

Relatives described him as a loving father who would take his son to Chuck E Cheese, nothing like the erratic man who appeared to be on drugs.

"It's just like, here we go again," relative Anthony Stevens said. "A lot of questions, a lot of police. Here we go again."

Herman Garment also lives in the apartment, and he said the officers acted responsibly.

"They put the handcuffs on him," he said. "Eventually, he was under control. And then he spit at the police."

Still, the family is wondering how it could come to this?

"How this call came about?" Buddington said. "Nobody can answer that. Nobody can. The man was a healthy young man. Healthy, nothing wrong with him. Nothing. So for him to die like this, you can't explain that."

The man's father is also in police custody.

"It concerns me," neighbor Ramon Gonzalez said. "It's going on and on, and my thing is, you have to have more trained police officers for this kind of situation. It's happening too often."

The Force Investigation Division was created in 2015 after Eric Garner died in police custody.