Alabama man dies in police custody after being pepper-sprayed

Police tape blocks the street to an apartment building. (Gaston De Cardenas/Reuters)
Police tape blocks the street to an apartment building. 

A suspect in a police chase in Alabama died late Friday after being pepper-sprayed, officers said.

On Friday night, Tuscaloosa police received a call that the unidentified man — wanted for an active "attempting to elude warrant" — was sitting on the front porch of a residence, authorities said. The caller said he had a gun, according to a statement on the Tuscaloosa Police Department's Facebook page.

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When officers arrived, the suspect fled into the woods. Officers caught up with him and when he resisted arrest, he was pepper-sprayed.

"The suspect continued to fight with officers but officers were able to place him into handcuffs," Tuscaloosa police said in a statement. "While walking out of the woods the suspect collapsed. Officers evaluated his condition and began CPR and called for medical personnel to respond on an emergency status."

The suspect was taken to a hospital, but later died. Tuscaloosa County Homicide unit is conducting a death investigation, the department added.

Pepper spray deaths are rare, but not unheard of. A 2004 North Carolina Medical Journal research paper on pepper spray listed "tingling, intense burning pain, swelling, redness, and, occasionally, blistering" as common effects of skin exposure to it.

Inhaling it can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack, the research paper said.

Death InvestigationOn 7/10/15 at 9:19 pm the Tuscaloosa Police Department received a call that a suspect who was...

Posted by Tuscaloosa Police Department on Saturday, July 11, 2015

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