Family files lawsuit after Bronx man's death in police struggle ruled homicide

KINGSBRIDGE HEIGHTS, Bronx (WABC) -- The family of a Bronx man who died in police custody is filing a lawsuit, after the Medical Examiner ruled 48-year-old Dwayne Pritchett's death was a homicide.

He died after a violent struggle with police, with officers saying he tried to grab one of their weapons.

Pritchett's relatives and friends are at a loss. They now know he was choked to death in a struggle with police, but what they don't understand is why.

It happened back in January inside Pritchett's apartment. It was his father who called police because his son was behaving erratically, and by all accounts, there was a struggle.

But after Pritchett was subdued, he apparently lost consciousness and died. The city Medical Examiner determined that Pritchett was high on drugs and died from neck compressions in the struggle.

Alotsia Stevens is the mother of Pritchett's 3-year-old son, and she admits Pritchett has a heart condition. The autopsy also found traces of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

The Attorney General's Office and the NYPD's Force Investigation Division have already launched their own investigations into Pritchett's death.

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